A Guide to Travel Photography - #1: Know the Basics. Photo credit: Brandon Elijah Scott
My name is Brandon Elijah Scott from www.EyeAndPen.com. I’ve been a professional photographer for over 10 years, and starting today, I’m going to guide you through the finer points of Travel Photography. So how can you make your travel photos “pop”? I must say there’s just as much luck as there is skill involved in creating strong images that give justice to a destination. But, if you mix skill, patience, and some basic knowledge, you can absolutely improve your photography. In other words, you can be in the ‘awe’ of your family and friends once you return home from your glorious adventures.
  
The basics of photography include starting with the right equipment, knowing how to use it, knowing when to shoot, knowing what to shoot, and knowing what to watch out for. Since there are hundreds of different brands and styles and levels of equipment, my only suggestion in this department – without going too deep into the differences in camera and photo-related equipment (as I could spend the 6 volume series on this subject only) – is to choose something that fits your style of travel and choose what feels right to you. The farther I go with this subject, I will be discussing more advanced settings and tricks of the trade, so it might be worthwhile for you (especially if you’re wanting to take a serious jump into quality travel photos) to think about purchasing an entry level DSLR camera – one that allows you to control the settings and interchange the lenses. Comparable models can be found from the most popular brands, like Canon, Nikon and Sony.
 
Without further ado, let me jump into some of the basic need-to-knows:
Know your settings and what they do
This is another subject that I can speak on length about, but knowing your settings on your DSLR camera is an absolute MUST if you’re going to take strides with your photography. However daunting it may seem to learn the settings, there’s no reason to fret – I promise. Knowing the science and the technical aspects of photography isn’t necessary when you’re getting started. But there are a few settings that you truly NEED to know to produce quality images. So take some time to research online about Shutter Speed, F-Stop, White Balance, and ISO.
Ditch the distractions
Most amateur shooters take a good photo one time out of every 100-plus shots. But you can easily increase the ratio of good to bad by simply shooting with fewer distractions. I mean, do you REALLY need that power line in there? How about that car? See that big billboard? Ask yourself, “is that necessary? “ The answer almost every time is NO. Take a few extra steps, one way or the other or use your zoom, or do whatever you have to do to simplify the things in the photo.
Work with it, don’t give up
Another typical mistake that amateur photographers often make is they ‘snapshot’ a subject then move on immediately, but growth in one’s ability can happen quickly with the simple remedy of taking more time to improve each image. Challenging yourself to out-do each previous shot of the same subject by either moving to another spot, changing the perspective, removing distractions, or with other slight changes can seriously improve one’s photography overnight.
Remember: With each click of a camera, your experience grows!
 
Last, but not least – here’s some of my photography, so you can get a sneak preview of what you’ll learn throughout the series.
(All photos by © Brandon Elijah Scott / www.EyeAndPen.com)
 
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