Travelling to exotic places around the world is my indulgence, my life. While some people in similar situations collect souvenirs to deck up their mantelpiece, my passion is photography. For me travel photography is like a time machine. I collect beautiful photographs and freeze them for eternity, to be seen and enjoyed for years after. No two places and their people are the same, their culture, history, scenery and stories are always different, giving me a fresh feeling whenever I visit a new destination.
It is not necessary that you should attend Photography schools and learn to be a photographer. I picked up the ropes through online tutorials, reading books and practising and analysing my shoots. You too can be an accomplished travel Photographer if you followed a few simple guidelines.
- Catch the right light – Photography is all about capturing the perfect shot in the best possible light. The trick is to get up early and arrive at your location quickly. The soft glow of the morning sun creates amazing images. Further, if you go to a monument first hour at opening time, you will have the place to yourself without the crowds that will come in later. You will have all the time to experiment with multiple angles of the same object. Sunsets too are great for photography. The hour before sunset has light that is soft and warm without harsh shadows and is called the “golden hours”.
- Study the location – Before a trip read about the location as much as possible online or from books. You will get a fair idea about the area, time taken to reach there, which time of the day offers the best light and when will the tourist traffic be low. With a plan in place beforehand. You will not be wasting time wandering about the place looking for the best vantage point to take a great shot.
- Talk to people – Do not treat people as your dummy or model. First talk to them, if necessary buy a souvenir or two and then ask permission to photograph them. Once they are at ease, you will get some fantastic shots bringing out clearly their ethnicity and culture.
- Carry the right equipment – Keeping in mind the steep Excess Baggage charges, I never carry all my equipment at a time. A bunch of memory cards, flash and a tripod is just about all.
Finally, take notes. At the end of the day it will be much easier to match the frames with what you have experienced and put them together in articles or travel blogs.