Improve Your Travel Photography – Part 1

G’day Travelers! Are you looking to improve your travel photography? Well then you’ve come to the right place. Just so happens I know a thing or two about taking alright photos. Here are just a few of my quick tips to help improve your travel photos (I can’t give away all of my tricks).


If there is one thing that you can buy that will make maximum impact to your photography, it’s a tripod. It doesn’t matter if you are using a small point and shoot camera or a top end DSLR. Using a tripod to create a steady platform is one of the best things you can do for your photography. It’ll open up so many more opportunities to create amazing images, especially at night.

Now, you don’t need something bulky, particularly if you’ve only got a small point and shoot style camera. Just something that you can place on posts, fences or anything really that’s stable to allow you prop-up your camera to create a steady platform to create some stunning photos.

That said, when I’m carrying my DSLR gear I make sure I’ve got a proper sturdy tripod with me at all times. That I can set up anywhere to get the shot. I’ll admit it’s a pain to carry around, but I can assure you the photos are definitely worth it.

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

The Yarra River in Melbourne, Victoria with a small point and shoot camera

Sydney Vivid 2015

Vivid Festival Sydney, New South Wales with a high-end DSLR Camera

Turn Off Your Flash

Carrying on from my previous point, now that you have a steady platform to take photos, try turning your flash off. The tiny flash on your camera gives a very harsh direct light that does an alright job of highlighting people a couple of meters from the camera. But otherwise the light doesn’t look that great and is completely useless beyond a couple of meters.

Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia
Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia

A couple of photos taken with out flash inside the dark Jenolan Caves. I didn’t use a tripod (sometimes you’re not allowed), but created as stable platform as I could to capture these photos.

Sunrise & Sunset have the best light

If you want your photos to be that bit better than everyone else’s, then you need to be out taking photos at Sunrise and Sunset. I could list a number of reasons why you need to take photos during sunrise and sunset, but the photos below highlight it well enough.

Sunrise – An early start to capture the morning fog with the sun rising through the trees on a road trip though regional Victoria.

Road Trip: Sydney to Shepparton

Sunset – It doesn’t matter if its golden glowing sun’s dipping over the horizon with amazing silhouettes or pink and purple clouds over an amazing landscape. Sunsets have to be the easiest way to improve your photos dramatically, plus you’re already awake.

Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia
Gosford Waterfront Sunset

Golden Hour – The time just after sunrise and just before sunset offers an amazing golden glow, known as golden hour, makes for some stunning landscape photos. Here’s a photo during golden hour at Kiama.

Kiama, New South Wales, Australia

Cloudy Days = Selfies!

While it’s not something that I do much of, I know plenty of people love doing selfies, especially while traveling. So my handy tip for taking selfies is to do it on cloudy days. Sunny day’s create harsh light, which causes heavy shadows making it difficult to get a flattering photo. Where as cloudy days make for nice soft light with little to no shadows which means everything look it’s best, well except maybe some landscapes…

Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia

Have your own Travel Photography tips? Leave them in the comment below.

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About the Author: Rhys Vandersyde

Traveler, Photographer, Content Creator. I've spent the last 10 years exploring all over the world, but there is still plenty more to see.

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