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Tips to Taking the Best Travel Photos You Can

Tips on how to make your friends say "Holy shit! Your photos from (insert location) are amazing!

by Attit Patel Posted on 09 May 2012

We've all been there. You know, seeing your friends travel photos on Facebook, and I thinking wow, these shots are kinda boring (no offense to any of my friends who post travel photos on Facebook). With all the different tools at our disposal these days, it seems like it's hard to take a boring photo while travelling. But believe me, people still do. Even Photoshop can only do so much.

Here are some tips to help you make the most of your travel photos, and be the envy of all your friends, when they say "Holy shit! Your photos from (insert location) are amazing!".

Include Locals in Your Shot

Our zodiac operator in the Galapagos, photo by Attit Patel
Our zodiac operator in the Galapagos, photo by Attit Patel

These are the people that make your travels a true experience. They are your porters, your tour leaders, the locals you met at a random bar, they are the ones you remember from your trip. Shoot them doing what they do. This adds authenticity, and intrigue to your photos. Plus, getting them in action can look pretty amazing!

Shoot Your Group From a Different Perspective

My group at Machu Picchu, photo by Attit Patel
My group at Machu Picchu, photo by Attit Patel

Every group gets one, the shot of them all in front of Machu Picchu, jumping up in the air, or with their arms around each other, but that's it. Just one! Think about arranging your group in different poses. Better yet, shot them when they least expect it. You may catch them doing odd things, but again, it's just a little less boring.

Avoid the Typical Postcard Shots

The Grand Canyon shot with a Canon tilt shift lens, photo by Attit Patel

Try not to take the standard shot. Sure, you can, but also look around. Walk around and find a quiet or empty spot. Different perspectives can offer a unique take on landmarks. Get higher, get lower and if you've got it, use different gear like tilt shift lenses, filters etc.

Tell a Story with Your Shots

Peruvian child we encountered in the Andes of Peru, photo by Attit Patel
Peruvian child we encountered in the Andes of Peru, photo by Attit Patel

Take wide shots, close ups, people shots etc., in the same location. Imagine showing someone this set of photos and them instantly understanding what's going on. These shots will make your photo albums more memorable.

Find Beauty Anywhere

Notre-Dame Basilica, roped of section, Montreal, photo by Attit Patel
Notre-Dame Basilica, roped of section, Montreal, photo by Attit Patel

This can be easier than you think. Again, wander off the normal path. Turn the other corner, look up when everyone else is looking straight ahead, walk through that roped off area (but make sure you don't get caught). You'd be surprised at what you might find.

Slow That Shutter Down

The Gates in Quebec City, shutter speed set at 25 seconds, photo by Attit Patel
The Gates in Quebec City, shutter speed set at 25 seconds, photo by Attit Patel

If you're shooting with an SLR, or an advanced point and shoot, experiment by slowing the shutter speed down on your camera. It will take a little more work on your part, but will be well worth it. Having a tripod is a huge plus, but you can get away with setting the camera down on a flat surface, or if you have really sure hands, try holding as still as possible.

Getting There

G Adventures runs a number of departures encompassing a wide range of departure dates and activities to cater to different tastes. We’re thrilled at the prospect of showing you this big blue planet of ours — check out our small group trips here.