By JENS LENNARTSSON
Do Your Homework
The search for the best pictures starts long before you board the plane. Make up a plan while at home. Search the web for what is already covered from the place where you’re going. Then look around in the travel forums to find out what is new and upcoming, what everyone doesn’t know about already. Make a plan, big or small, with places you want to go to and things you want to see. When you’ve arrived, change it if you have to as you go along.
Take Pictures of People
Find a travel article that you really like. Is there a lot of good pictures of people in it? Most certainly, yes. Portraying people, up close and personal, is the best – and only – way to get the true story of a destination. But – while it is the undoubtedly best way, it’s also the hardest way. Almost everyone has got a fear of approaching people we don’t know. It takes a lot of guts to get really close to someone to take their picture. But when you get over that threshold, you’re on your way to great pictures.
Look For the Light
The most important thing about photography is without doubt the light. When you can’t seem to get that picture, maybe the light is too flat? I almost never take pictures in broad daylight. The hours before and after sunrise/sunset is the best time to get the award winning images.
It’s Not About the Gear
I take about ninety percent of my pictures with the same prime (no zoom) lens. It didn’t cost more than $300 and it is almost always my primary choice. This is the one truth you should remember: if your pictures are no good, they won’t get any better by adding more equipment to your camera bag. Photographing is about finding a beautiful place, the best light and interesting people. Not about carrying stuff you don’t know how to use around.
At least once in awhile, leave your travel companion in the hotel and walk alone. when with someone else, you’ll feel the pressure to move on, not stopping for too long to photograph. But to get the great pictures, you must give it some time. Besides that, when you’re more than one people will have a harder time interacting with you, because you’ll walk in your own little bubble.
I have a rule while travelling. Whenever anyone invites me to their home, offers me something to eat or waves me over, I say yes. I do have a pretty good eye for spotting hustlers and people with bad intentions, but otherwise, I say yes. And that rule have taken me through so many adventures.
Jens Lennartsson is a Swedish travel photographer. He’s currently publishing new travel photography tips every day on the blog 100 Days. Check it out for more tips on travel photgraphy at http://www.jenslennartsson.se/100days/