an array of travel pictures shows famous world landmarks

6 Tips for Taking Travel Photographs

Whether you've got a top of the line SLR or an inexpensive point and shoot, everyone wants to get the best possible pictures from their vacation. Following a few of the tips below will help you get the most out of those vacation photos and make memories that last a lifetime.

  1. Shoot With the Light Behind You

    The right lighting is crucial for photography. Shoot with the light source behind you rather than behind your subject to get the most detail. Backlit subjects will come out looking washed out and sometimes out of focus. The one exception: if you are trying to get a silhouette shot you can use back-lighting to create that interesting contrast.

  2. Know Your Camera

    Get to know the settings available on your camera before you go. Some cameras have only an automatic mode, while others have preprogramed settings for different types of pictures, such as portraits, action shots, or night photography.

    Cameras with more manual control will let you adjust shutter speed, aperture, and ISO. Shutter speed is how quickly the picture is taken, use short shutter speeds for action and longer exposures for night photography. Aperture determines the amount of light allowed in and will determine if you can see all the way back of if the picture becomes blurry just past the subject. A high ISO will allow more light into the picture, but will make it look more grainy.

  3. Save Low Light Moments

    For low light pictures, it is best to use a tripod and a slow shutter speed. This will capture more detail without washing out the subject like a flash will. Don't bump the camera and make sure the subject stays still while the picture is being taken to avoid blurring. A slight boost to the ISO can help as well, but don't go too high, since you will lose detail.

  4. Catch the Action

    To catch action shots, use a fast shutter speed. This will allow you to catch dramatic moments without any blurring. You may also want to use burst mode, an option that lets you take several pictures in a short period of time. This can let you get that perfect shot or create an interesting series of pictures.

  5. Capture the Scenery, Not the Crowds

    Set up burst mode on your camera and place it on a tripod in front of that iconic shot, like the Eiffel Tower or the Statue of Liberty. Take a number of shots from the same place. When you get home, Photoshop will allow you to composite those pictures and remove anything that is different between them. In this case, that will be the throngs of tourists, leaving you with an impossible, seemingly clear, shot of the site.

  6. Keep Your Memories Safe

    You don't want all your hard work to go to waste, do you? Then you definitely need to have a plan for backing up your travel photos. In today's digital world, the obvious solution is storing them in the cloud. There are numerous options to choose from, and most are inexpensive or free (for a limited amount of storage space). 


Getting to know your camera and the basic rules of photography before you go will help you feel confident and creative enough to get the best shots around you. Photography is a fun and helpful way to save your amazing memories.

Last Updated: November 02, 2016