Anyone can snap a picture on vacation, but taking a good picture is a little bit trickier. With a little knowledge and imagination, you can take stunning and unique travel photos whether you’re shooting with an iPhone or an advanced DSLR camera. The key is to take some basic steps to prepare for your trip and follow these eight tips when you reach your destination.

1. Research Your Destination

Good travel photography starts way before you start your trip. It begins at home, where you should research the area you’re visiting. Spend time looking into local landmarks or fascinating architecture that would make good subjects and locations for your photos. Go online or use travel guides to find out more about the region, culture, and any interesting events or festivals happening while you’re there for some incredible photo opportunities. Don’t miss out on a picture perfect moment – make sure you do the research!

2. Experiment with Filters and Settings

Get creative! Try adding different filters and settings to your pictures! Experimenting with these different effects allow for certain aspects of your photo to stand out, and make your shots look unique. Settings like highlights, shadow, and luxe can help even out tones in your pictures too.

3. Switch Up Your Camera Angles

When traveling and taking photographs of different landmarks, it’s tempting to shoot everything at eye-level. This is okay for some of your photos, but if all of them are at the same eye-level, it’ll make for a pretty boring collection of travel memories. The best way to switch things up is to look for different angles! Shoot from the ground up, from above looking down, or any angle you haven’t tried yet to capture the best moments.

4. Use Light to Your Advantage

Before you take a photograph, see where the light is coming from, and use it to your advantage. Whether it’s natural light from the sun or artificial light from a lamp, ask yourself these questions. How can I use this lighting to make my photos better? How is the lighting interacting with the subject? Is it highlighting an area or casting a shadow? Recognize what type of lighting you’re working with, and utilize it to make an ordinary photo extraordinary.

5. Bring a Tripod

Bring along a tripod to help you stay centered and focused on the scene or subject you’re photographing. A tripod allows you take sharp photos and experiment with numerous settings to find the best lighting. It’s the best for anyone traveling with a camera!

6. Invest in a Waterproof Case

There’s a ton of gear out there to help you take awesome pictures underwater. Start with buying a waterproof camera case, or splurge a little on a GoPro, which is one of the best underwater cameras. Are you taking pictures with just your phone? Do your research and invest in a waterproof phone case that is excellent for taking both videos and photos safely underwater. Most importantly, get up close and personal with the underwater action. Water shots aren’t as good when you take them at a wider angle.

7. Shoot Pictures of Local People

A fantastic way to capture the essence of your destination and tell a story is to include local people in your photos. Taking pictures of people in their own environment with interesting elements in the background gives you more information about the location itself. However, always ask for permission first if you’re photographing a person up close. Talking to them beforehand is a great way to learn about the culture and make new friends!

8. Have a Focal Point in Your Landscape Shot

A stunning landscape shot may be hard to convey in a photo. Different landscapes and beach scenes can appear very lifeless without a main subject or focal point. Including a person in your picture is the perfect solution. Having a person, or a clearly defined subject, act as the focal point for some of your travel photos makes the images more interesting. It also adds a sense of scale and depth to your shots. It’s much easier to tell how tall a mountain is when you see it in comparison with a person. Locals aren’t always around, so ask your travel companions to hop right in the shot to create lasting memories. Traveling alone? Don’t worry! You can always use yourself as the focal point too.

Book a Bus Tour for the Perfect Travel Photos

Are you looking for the perfect trip to take wonderful travel photos on? Look no further! Martz has the trip just for you! We provide day trips and multi-day bus tours to New York City, the Poconos, New Jersey, and all over New England where you can take stunning photos of your traveling experience. Book your ticket now to for a picture perfect getaway!