[Travel Photography] A Beginner’s Guide to Learning Travel Photography


This text is information for the aspiring journey photographer who don’t know the place to begin. The article initially appeared right here, and is being republished with categorical permission from Viktor.

Viktor Elizarov is a journey photographer and educator from Montreal, Canada. He travels around the globe and shares his experiences on his in style journey images weblog. Go to Tutorials part of his weblog for free tutorials (together with unique uncooked information) and free Lightroom presets.

It was a wonderful day in Montreal. I used to be on a daily afternoon jog listening to a preferred images podcast. The subject of the episode was journey images. The company on the present have been two skilled photographers with the years of expertise.

On the finish of the podcast, throughout the listener query and reply session, the primary query instantly grabbed my consideration. Why? As a result of I’ve been requested the identical, or an almost an identical, query many instances earlier than.

So what’s the query?

I wish to begin touring extra particularly for images, however I have no idea the place to begin. Do you could have any thought the place I ought to go or how you can plan my journey? Ought to I edit pictures whereas I’m there or ought to I wait till I return residence? What cameras, lenses and different gear do I take? Assist! I’m affected by evaluation paralysis.

Okay, so maybe the query has a number of elements but it surely nonetheless rang true to my expertise. I used to be curious to listen to the solutions as a result of I knew it was a loaded query and undoubtedly not a simple one.

The professional photographers’ solutions stunned me.

Listed here are a few of them:

“South Asia is an effective place to go.”
“Don’t go to Bangkok.”
“If you happen to have no idea, select a spot randomly.”
“Europe, possibly.”

As a substitute of addressing the complicated topic of journey images, the photographers solely targeting a single side: the placement. Their solutions disenchanted me as a result of I don’t take into account the placement to be the important a part of journey images. You do not want to journey to a distant and unique vacation spot to take pleasure in journey images.

So I’ve determined to place collectively a blueprint or information to assist individuals who wish to get entangled in journey images, however have no idea the place to begin. I used an analogous strategy after I first began and it has confirmed profitable through the years.

Initially, please don’t begin your journey images journey with a visit to South Asia. It is going to be a waste of money and time, to not point out it will likely be stuffed with disappointments.

Begin smaller and develop from there.

Sunrise at Forillon National Park by Viktor Elizarov on 500px.com

Testing Floor

Discover a native park in your neighborhood, ideally inside strolling distance or a brief drive. Make this your testing floor to your gear and images routines.

Any city park has all of the important components of journey images: landscapes, cityscapes, folks, and so on…

Plan your visits throughout totally different instances of the day. Learn to take care of the tough noon gentle, overcast, rain, sunsets, and sunrises. In doing so, you’ll determine what minimal gear you have to cowl totally different situations of journey images.

For instance, I noticed fairly early on {that a} minimalistic strategy to images fits me one of the best, and all I want is a digital camera with a walk-around lens. For years, I used a mix of a Canon 60D + Sigma 17-70mm and now I’ve an analogous setup of a Sony a6000 + Sony 16-70mm.

Admittedly, I’ve extra gear in my possession together with a large angle lens (Sony 10-18mm), tripod, filters, and distant triggers. However, if obligatory, I can go on an in depth journey and solely take a digital camera and one lens with me.

I’m fortunate sufficient to have a wonderful park solely a brief, walkable distance from the place I dwell. Even now, when I’ve a brand new piece of kit, I at all times check it there. After I switched from a Canon to a Sony it was a steep studying curve, and the native park was the perfect place for studying about and testing my new gear.

Colorful Fall Evening (Montreal) by Viktor Elizarov on 500px.com

Park Rene Levesque in Montreal is my testing floor

Mini Simulation

The following step is to go on a day-long journey to a location inside about 1-2 hours drive. In my case, I do know all of the nationwide and provincial parks round Montreal and most of them make good locations for brief photograph journeys.

This journey will take you away from the consolation of your private home for the whole day, and can assist you to begin micro planning and testing your abilities.

Ensure you plan prematurely what spot to go to at sundown or dawn. It isn’t at all times simple to do each throughout a brief journey, so select just one and ensure you go to one of the best spot. Use Google search, Google maps, and 500px to pinpoint the proper location to your dawn or sundown shoot.

Additionally, you must resolve what number of digital camera batteries to deliver with you, in the event you want spare reminiscence playing cards, and so forth. In case your journey includes difficult mountaineering, it additionally is likely to be a good suggestion to go away the tripod at residence.

These journeys are designed for photographers to make errors and study. With each new journey, you’ll study extra about planning, your gear, and your habits.

Once you’re snug with the quick journeys, it’s time to graduate to multi-day journeys.

Path to Golden Forest (Montreal) by Viktor Elizarov on 500px.com

Mont-Saint-Bruno nationwide park is simply 30km from Montreal

Multi-day Driving Journeys

That is how actual journey images began for me.

Montreal is positioned about 5-7 hours drive from New York, Boston, and Toronto with Niagara Falls. My journeys devoted solely to images began with 2-Three day driving journeys to these locations.

Multi-days journeys require far more planning the place it’s best to at all times do your analysis first after which plan all of your sunrises, sunsets and all the things in between.

One other new problem you must face on these journeys is to determine how you can take care of enhancing and backups.

I’m not providing you with a selected situation to observe as a result of, based mostly on my expertise, journey routines are at all times altering and evolving.

For instance, at first, I at all times did some fundamental edits of my new pictures by the top of day-after-day of the journey; now, I solely consider my capturing and I begin the enhancing course of when I’m again at residence. However I at all times have the choice to edit pictures just by connecting my pill to my digital camera utilizing Wi-Fi, grabbing a number of pictures, enhancing them with Snapseed, and posting them to social media.

On the identical time, my backup routine has not modified lots. By the top of the day, I backup all new pictures to 2 exterior arduous drives and at all times ensure to maintain them in two separate locations. I’ve one with me always in my bag and the second I hold within the protected within the lodge or within the trunk of my automotive.

Additionally, I don’t rush to format my reminiscence playing cards. I hold pictures on the playing cards till I run out of house on all 4 of them and solely then do I begin formatting.

The fantastic thing about driving journeys is that you simply don’t have to be too selective concerning the gear you deliver with you. You’ll be able to load your trunk with all the things you personal and determine what items are important to your fashion of images later.

East River Sunset Shower (New York) by Viktor Elizarov on 500px.com

New York. Taken throughout a sundown cruise alongside the East River.

Hacking Household Trip

The following step is to hack your loved ones trip.

You need to watch out with this one in order to make sure you don’t agitate your family members or spoil the holiday for them.

A household journey can function the proper alternative for testing your air journey routines. It requires further analysis to determine keep it up allowances on each leg of your journey and resolve what gear to deliver.

After I introduced all my gear on one in every of my first household journeys to Cuba and hardly used any of it, I began to pack in a different way by bringing solely the requirements alongside. Additionally, after I switched from DSLR to Mirrorless, I can pack all the things (nearly all the things) in my keep it up with out worrying about misplaced baggage.

Sunrise Watchers at Cayo Coco Beach by Viktor Elizarov on 500px.com

Cuba. Dawn at Cayo Coco seashore.

So how do you begin planning?

Start by planning your trip as you usually would and focus on household actions first. When these are accomplished and everyone is pleased, you possibly can improve your journey with images adventures.

In the course of the trip, the one time once you might be 100% devoted to your images is when everyone is sleeping. On every day of trip, you should have a number of hours between dawn and breakfast to focus on your images. And, not solely will your loved ones be in mattress at 5am, so will about 99.9% of vacationers.

The truth is, you’ll be stunned how stunning Venice appears to be like at dawn—it’s utterly totally different and calm with out the chaos of crowds.

Final yr, my spouse and I went to Niagara Falls in the midst of summer time on a weekend getaway. It was so crowded throughout the day that I had no probability of utilizing a tripod. It was even tough to take any footage with out having folks within the body. However, after I went to the Falls the following morning simply earlier than dawn, I had the whole place to myself. The one particular person I met there was one other photographer who had the identical thought.

Sunrise at Niagara Falls by Viktor Elizarov on 500px.com

The important thing to efficiently combining a household trip with images and having fun with them each is to plan each single dawn prematurely. The remainder of the times can be devoted to household actions, and are far more tough to plan round. You’ll be able to take pleasure in your loved ones whereas making an attempt to be as opportunistic as potential together with your images.

After you could have accomplished dozens of one-day native journeys, half a dozen quick driving journeys, and no less than a few household holidays, you’ll be able to go on in depth journeys devoted solely to images.

You should have acquired the mandatory abilities and established the non-public routines that can assist you to be snug, assured, and protected throughout your travels.


Verify what’s in my digital camera bag…


Studying any new complicated course of requires breaking it down into smaller digestible chunks you can then begin to sort out separately. Journey images is not any totally different. You can not study all the things in a single shot. By beginning small, you’ll step by step accumulate data, expertise, and set up your distinctive routines.

I hope my easy blueprint will assist you to fulfill your dream of turning into a journey photographer and speed up the educational course of.

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