How to Shoot the Best Travel Photography

Digital Photography School released a helpful article with hot tips from the best photographers in the game describing how to capture even the most difficult of shots while traveling. We’ve condensed this into an easy-to-learn list for the amateur to professional travel photographer!


- Observe

- Enjoy being in the animal’s company

- Avoid eliciting a flight-or-fight response by keeping a safe distance

- Move slowly and non-threateningly

- Have patience, empathy, and appreciation


- For perpendicular, slow movement, keep shutters between 1/15th and 1/90th of a second

- For faster movement, set shutters between 1/60th to 1/125th of a second

- Focus just ahead of the object

- Start with higher shutter speed and work down

- Farther away objects require a lower shutter speed


- Be aware of the highlights

- Play with speed to avoid over-exposure

- Frame the best composition for the building’s frame

- Wait for motion that captures the building to happen

- Find out if you need permission before publishing

Indigenous People

- Approach community without a camera and get to know them

- Ask permission before taking photos

- Use long zooms to catch candid moments

- Use a wide-angle held at waist level to create intimacy

- Avoid clearly aiming at someone unless they are comfortable

- Use medium-length zoom for direct portraits


- Wait for the right moment

- For a group, the moment is an externalized emotion

- For an individual, the moment is the internalized moment when defenses drop

Low Light and Nights

- Add a fast prime lens

- Go with a sturdy but light lens

- For cities, shoot after sunset but before dark, when there is still color in the sky

- When there is a lack of bright lights in the shot, use longer shutter speeds to get color

- Use long exposure when cloudy or foggy

- Use smaller apertures for a starburst effect