Image of Santorini in Greece illustrating the use of a wide angle lens to capture scenic vista.

Santorini. In daytime, the village of Santorini, Greece, is serene and exquisite. Simply after sundown, town lights start to come back to life with a heat glow, and the sky takes a softer mild because it presents its most spectacular colours. I selected the 24mm vary of my mid-range zoom to seize the golden sundown, stunning village and dramatic clouds.

Creating an expressive picture assortment out of your adventures requires greater than merely the technical parts of pictures. To take higher journey pictures, begin with advance planning and strategic selections on what to convey. You’ll get pleasure from a well-rounded and extra genuine expertise by doing a little bit homework, attending to know your topics, and conceptualizing how greatest to {photograph} them. The locations that you simply journey to and individuals who you meet turn into an integral a part of the photographic expertise by offering enjoyable and enriching reminiscences for all times.

An distinctive journey vacation spot deserves your greatest efforts with a purpose to seize particular and memorable pictures. These are my high tricks to take higher journey pictures.

Lens Selection For Journey Images

Lens alternative will assist outline your topic. I typically take into account a wide-angle lens for cityscapes and landscapes. This lens permits me to seize fascinating issues which will occur inside the body, resembling vivid streaks of sunshine from passing vehicles or the stretch of gorgeous clouds throughout a protracted publicity.

Image illustrating when to use a telephoto lens for travel photography.Image illustrating when to use a telephoto lens for travel photography.

Palouse. Decisions, selections. Broad-angle lens or telephoto zoom to seize a sweeping vista? I selected to shoot with a Nikon D500 and the AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR to isolate a part of the huge rolling hills, taking pictures late within the day for definition of shadow and light-weight within the Palouse. At 410mm on the DX-format D500, my equal focal size was 615mm.

A quick mid-range zoom lens might be helpful for candid pictures—and nearly every little thing. I’ve used it for road pictures and element pictures for a extra placing picture. A telephoto zoom is the right lens for bringing within the element or for isolating a topic or simply bringing within the topic a little bit nearer. I used one for isolating and composing the huge panorama of the Palouse, making a scene the place the composition turns into extra private to the viewer. This lens is equally nice to {photograph} journey portraits. It’s a wonderful lens for capturing reflections on vehicles and home windows. Every lens has a singular operate that it does effectively, making it helpful to hold a number of primary lenses if you find yourself hitting the street. When you have a zoom lens, convey it.

A fisheye lens is by far one of the vital enjoyable lenses I’ve used. With my Nikon Z 7, I exploit an AF-S FISHEYE NIKKOR 8-15mm f/3.5-4.5E ED zoom lens, which implies I can use it for round photos in addition to for rectangular. Both means, it’s a special look and may add a little bit spice to your journey photos. With the lens pointed straight up towards the sky, I can seize a 360-degree vary of fascinating structure or colourful bushes in a nationwide forest. This lens provides you a extremely distinctive perspective that isn’t doable with different lenses. In the event you benefit from the pursuit of authentic and extremely inventive pictures, take into account including this lens to your gear bag.

Photo illustrating a creative technique for framing a subject in your photos.Photo illustrating a creative technique for framing a subject in your photos.

Transamerica. I felt {that a} inventive composition of taking pictures by way of the bench to seize the Transamerica constructing and pier lights in San Francisco would make for a much more fascinating story. I believed this might be particularly good in the course of the blue hour for the wealthy shade within the sky and balanced mild all through the composition.

If you wish to boil all of it right down to a single lens for a day, a 50mm lens is a wonderful alternative. They’re quick, small lenses with great potential. I’ve to confess, after I first received one, I used to be disillusioned because it simply appeared it wasn’t very fascinating in comparison with different lens selections. Nevertheless, I discovered that the true worth and great thing about this lens is how you utilize it. If I get near my topic, and I’m taking pictures utilizing a large aperture, the background shall be softly blurred, and with any factors of sunshine within the topic, the bokeh is beautiful. This can be a nice walk-around lens within the metropolis as a result of I don’t typically want a tripod. It’s additionally nice to make use of with massive glass prisms for inventive and particular results. It’s a light-weight lens with a enjoyable issue profit, providing a number of makes use of.

Filters For Journey Images

After I come throughout an important topic, I take into account how I can greatest seize it. This contains something from lens option to a taking pictures approach that can improve the topic. I attempt to put myself on the time and place that enables the very best alternative for good mild or the very best clouds, if any. Water options provide an opportunity for seize as a tender blur; cloud motion creates a glance as if the clouds had simply been painted throughout the sky. Conveying a way of movement brings the picture alive, transferring the picture from a snapshot into extra of a murals. You can too do that with the assistance of a filter.

My filter gear contains quite a lot of impartial density filters, which permit me to regulate mild. I exploit these both to higher steadiness mild or for inventive management, holding again mild to increase shutter pace. I carry a 3-stop, 6-stop and 15-stop ND filter, plus a 2-stop graduated and 2-stop reverse graduated ND filter.

Generally a polarizer is required, so I maintain that helpful as effectively. My go-to filter for a inventive punch of shade is a Singh-Ray Gold-N-Blue polarizer that may actually make a pleasant distinction with sure pictures. Experiment and be daring.

Image illustrating the use of a neutral density filter to permit a long exposure.Image illustrating the use of a neutral density filter to permit a long exposure.

Valensole Plain. Upon arrival within the lavender fields early one morning, the clouds crammed the sky with a delicate movement that impressed me to make use of my 15-stop impartial density filter. In the course of the course of six minutes, the clouds took on magical patterns, offering an fascinating backdrop for an growing old farmhouse and colourful lavender.

Attempt Including A Sense Of Movement

Certainly one of my favourite taking pictures methods includes a little bit planning and persistence, however that technique leads to the creation of most of my favourite photos. I wish to make photos that convey a way of movement. This may very well be taking pictures streaks of sunshine and colourful blurs from automobiles that move by over the course of a number of seconds. Or it would imply organising my digicam to file voluminous cloud formations which can be evolving over a five- to six-minute time span. I discover it fascinating to file what occurs over time in a single picture. It adjustments the dynamics of a shot and creates distinctive, one-of-a-kind imagery. Plus, it has the advantage of eradicating folks out of your shot in busy cityscapes.

I search for potential alternatives for fascinating climate throughout my travels and plan to take advantage of any clouds. For pictures that vary from a number of seconds to a number of minutes, I exploit a cable launch to stop digicam shake as I press the shutter. You can too take into consideration each freezing the motion and recording the motion at a slower tempo. This will provide you with quite a lot of choices to painting the topic. Utilizing each a wide-angle lens and a zoom lens and freezing/blurring the motion makes for limitless very completely different and thrilling visible narratives.

One other choice to work with when you’ve gotten an important topic is to shoot video or time-lapse. Even quick sequences can add to your journey story. In some places, I’ll arrange my digicam for time-lapse and shoot with my second digicam to get element pictures or different pictures of curiosity. I completely love the slow-motion video setting in my Nikon Z cameras. Only a few seconds of recording can actually come collectively for an fascinating story.

Another for fascinating visible narratives is to shoot a number of exposures. This may be so simple as a double publicity that tells twice the story or one thing as fluid as 10 exposures creating a picture that takes on a completely new which means. This method might be particularly participating as you mix silhouettes with fascinating textures, resembling fall leaves. I used to do that in put up; nonetheless, most cameras can seize and mix a number of exposures, creating great photographic alternatives.

Venice. The blue hour is one in every of my favourite instances to shoot. The sunshine is balanced within the scene, and the colour of the sky takes on a wealthy blue shade. Metropolis lights start to glow, including drama to the composition.

Capturing After Darkish

Capturing at night time might be magical, offering many compositions with placing mild and shadows. I attempt to benefit from each low-light alternative. A well-recognized and busy daytime location could also be devoid of individuals at night time, and a cityscape lit with dramatic mild can take your road pictures to the subsequent stage.

After I discover places that look promising for an evening shoot, I’ll make a snapshot, noting the handle to revisit. Or, after my sundown and “blue hour” pictures, I’ll got down to discover a metropolis. This can be a nice time to make use of the Image Management Monochrome setting in my Nikon Z 7 (or an identical setting in your digicam). The pictures look classic in black-and-white, and this type could make a picture really feel timeless.

On the flip facet, I’ll arrive one to 2 hours earlier than dawn to benefit from pre-dawn mild. I shot the lifeguard towers in Miami Seashore whereas it was nonetheless darkish. I knew the towers could be illuminated over time by town lights, and with a multiple-minute publicity, it might look superb. The best way to focus at nighttime? I pointed my flashlight on the tower, targeted on that time of sunshine, and let my digicam file the magic throughout a number of minutes of time. The ensuing picture turns into surreal: no folks, the tough ocean waves are easy, and clouds are painted throughout the sky throughout my several-minute shot. Relaxation later—shoot once you get the very best mild circumstances.

Illustration of using ambient light to take better travel photos.Illustration of using ambient light to take better travel photos.

Miami Seashore. I wished to strive one thing completely different with a topic that’s effectively photographed by anybody touring within the Miami Seashore space. I used the illumination of town lights behind me over a four-minute interval to offer ambient lighting for the lifeguard tower. Apparently, the tower was principally invisible by way of the lens. Experimentation is without doubt one of the keys to creativity. I like making an attempt one thing completely different and seeing what occurs!

Discover A New Angle

Altering your perspective can have a big effect in your pictures. It’s simple to shoot from eye stage—how far more fascinating would possibly or not it’s to put the digicam at floor stage or shoot from an elevated place? For these close-to-the-ground pictures, I like utilizing a Platypod, which is principally a flat tripod. It’s the best tripod to hold with you whereas touring, and, relying in your topic, it may be the one tripod you’ll want. I exploit it with a Actually Proper Stuff ballhead, making my digicam completely safe. I like this ground-level vantage level paired with a wide-angle or fisheye lens to seize all of the fascinating element all through the picture.

Alternatively, I’ll search for rooftops or hilltops to seize fascinating vistas. Certainly one of my favourite photos got here from ending up smack in entrance of a phenomenal 15th-century cathedral; nonetheless, it was all an excessive amount of for my wide-angle lens, and it wasn’t telling the story I had in thoughts. With a little bit scouting, I discovered a rooftop café that offered the right view not solely of the cathedral but in addition the sq. in entrance and the stunning night sky past. This image in Santiago de Cuba has at all times been one in every of my favorites.

Image illustrating finding a unique perspective on a subject.Image illustrating finding a unique perspective on a subject.

Santiago de Cuba. Throughout scouting, I discovered myself at my vacation spot however means too near seize the story I had envisioned for this stunning 15th-century cathedral. After some research, I observed a close-by rooftop café that offered the right vantage level. From this high-perspective location, I may embrace the cathedral and a dramatic sky after sundown.

Take into account Infrared

I’m a giant fan of infrared pictures, and I’ll convey my infrared digicam for the prospect to shoot a well-recognized topic in an progressive means. Infrared is phenomenal with landscapes. Leaves are extremely reflective of infrared mild and present up as practically white, whereas textured surfaces resembling tree trunks stay darkish. That is the digicam I’ll use when in South Seashore, Florida, to seize the Artwork Deco cityscape with pure white palm fronds resting throughout my composition. There’s a massive distinction between black-and-white infrared imagery and conventional black-and-white pictures. With infrared, foliage turns into extra pronounced and dramatic, and there’s a surreal issue that engages the viewer and attracts them in. I had one in every of my Nikon Z cameras transformed to infrared, and, relying on my journey vacation spot, I’ll typically pack it to convey with me.

What To Carry

As for my backpack, I’ve been utilizing the Kashmir from f-stop Gear, which was designed for girl photographers. The benefit—particularly now that I’ve switched to mirrorless—is that every little thing suits in, and I don’t need to be involved as a lot about weight, though this digicam bag distributes weight evenly. Relying on the placement I’m taking pictures, I’ll pack a a lot smaller bag for day journeys to strolling places inside a metropolis, the place I’ll solely carry the fundamentals.

For inclement climate, I’ll pack a rain jacket and produce a shawl. I’ve a rain cowl for my backpack, too. This protects my gear and lets me shoot within the rain, which might be filled with wealthy colours and considerable reflections.

Different gear that I carry features a small tactical flashlight referred to as Fenix PD35. This flashlight operates utilizing a USB rechargeable battery, making it a light-weight powerhouse at 1,000 lumens. I exploit this flashlight for establishing focus at nighttime, light-painting quite a lot of topics or just lighting my means at nighttime.

One final gear tip: I by no means journey with out lens hoods. They maintain rain off the lens whereas I shield the lens and digicam with a easy rain cowl. Rain might be your pal if you find yourself correctly ready.

Image illustrating a tip to photograph architectural details as part of a travel portfolio.Image illustrating a tip to photograph architectural details as part of a travel portfolio.

Cuban Structure. Altering my perspective permits me attempt to envision an important topic in quite a lot of methods. I fell in love with the historic structure on this road. I merely pointed the digicam as much as benefit from the aged signage and element on this shot.


In planning a visit, I are inclined to do lots of analysis utilizing numerous apps. On my iPhone, I’ve the feature-rich PhotoPills app, which helps decide the very best time of day for my pictures, such because the golden hour or blue hour and even moon phases. I confer with climate apps typically, so I do know of any circumstances which may produce intriguing cloud patterns or storm fronts to shoot. The Photographer’ss Ephemeris app (TPE) has a pleasant shade forecast for sunsets and sunrises. I additionally like picture location apps like Google Earth/Maps, PhotoHound, Locationscout or Explorest for locating fascinating places so as to add to my journey locations. I exploit tide charts for taking pictures seaside places and love the convenience of at-a-glance wind route and pace from Windy. For calculating lengthy exposures with my 15-stop impartial density filters, I exploit an app referred to as NDTimer.

You’ll discover that with a little bit planning and creativity, you’ll be able to create dynamic imagery that offers the viewer a way of the expertise of being there within the second. And also you’ll have enjoyable doing it! 

Deborah Sandidge is knowledgeable photographer and Nikon Ambassador specializing in world journey. See extra of her work at

Textual content & Images By Deborah Sandidge –>

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