Picture This: Expert Tips on Snapping The Best Travel Photos

airtransat By airtransat / 19 May 2020

Picture This: Expert Tips on Snapping The Best Travel Photos

airtransat By airtransat

Our photographer Benoit Brühmüller shares his best tips for taking wonderful and memorable travel photos and boosting your skills in travel photography.

How do you pick the right subject, where to find the best points of view, how to approach the locals? The art of travel photography, even in digital mode where everything can be easily edited, begins some preparation in order to create memories that you will want to display on your walls or in beautiful albums.

With a little bit of knowledge of the principles of photography and a bit of creativity, everything is possible. And for the gorgeous panoramas, we’ll get you there ;)

+ additional reading: 5 “WOW” Places to Photograph in Ireland and Northern Ireland

Wait for the right light

How to take great travel photos - Sunset in Belize
Photo credit: Benoit Brühmüller
How to take great travel photos - View of the ocean in Belize
Photo credit: Benoit Brühmüller
How to take great travel photos - Beach in Belize
Photo credit: Benoit Brühmüller

In terms of travel photography, the best times to catch good light is just after sunrise and before sunset, which is called the golden hour. The soft sunlight creates warm yellow and orange hues, in  addition to casting long shadows, which can be highly cinematic.

Avoid shooting at noon, as it’s when the light is at its harshest. Another good time is blue hour, an hour before sunrise and after sunset. It’s the perfect time to capture vivid street lights and an indigo-blue sky.

Waking up early also means getting a peek at the daily lives of the locals, which makes for authentic images. Here, at Ambergris Caye in Belize, I arrived at the beach just in time to catch children taking the scenic route to their school.

+ additional reading: 11+ of the Best Beaches in Puerto Rico

Make friends

It’s hard to be natural with a camera in your face. Talk to people, get to know them. I bought a bracelet from this little girl in Ollantaytambo, Peru. I made a joke about my thick fingers, which made her laugh and broke the ice. Her face became more relaxed, her gestures more natural.

Be creative to draw out your subject’s personality. We played a game with riverine people in the Brazilian Amazon: we tossed a coconut into the river, and whoever retrieved it first won. I captured authentic photos that showcased their unique relationship with nature.

How to take great travel photos - Face in black and white
Photo credit: Benoit Brühmüller
How to take great travel photos - Dive in black and white
Photo credit: Benoit Brühmüller

Create perspective

To get the most original and most appealing travel photos, look for scenes with lines that guide the viewer’s gaze toward a precise focal point.

In Lisbon, we took a wrong turn and stumbled upon this beautiful tree-lined road. Here, the lines are created by the road, the wall and the trees, and they naturally lead our eyes to the end of the lane disappearing off into the distance. This creates a sense of depth and perspective.

+ additionnal reading: 8 Best Things to Eat in Lisbon, Portugal – and Where to Get Them

How to take great travel photos - Trees on the road
Photo credit: Benoit Brühmüller
How to take great travel photos - Black and white picture of New York city
Photo credit: Benoit Brühmüller
How to take great travel photos - Plage en noir et blanc aux Bahamas
Photo credit: Benoit Brühmüller

Explore with angles

Most people take the same photo from the same spot. Think of all those pictures of people pretending to hold up the Leaning Tower of Pisa!

Find a unique angle.
Climb on a bench.
Lie on the ground.
Shoot upside down.

While everyone was looking up, I looked down and captured this cool shot of the reflection of New York skyscrapers in a puddle.

How to take great travel photos - Water reflection in New York city
Photo credit: Benoit Brühmüller

Or shoot your travel photos through something: branches, sunglasses, windows. It frames your picture in a creative way and adds another layer to your story.

In this small reserve in Indonesia, I lay on the jungle floor and shot through leaves to capture this image of a male endangered crested black macaque protecting his harem. It adds a more natural element, like we’re witnessing a candid moment from a hidden point of view we’re typically not privy to.

How to take great travel photos - Monkey in the jungle
Photo credit: Benoit Brühmüller

The comments and contributions expressed are assumed only by the author. The recommendations, intentions or opinions expressed are not necessarily those of Transat AT Inc. or its affiliates. See terms of use of the Air Transat website.

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