14 cliche-busting tips and tricks for more creative travel photography

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In one of our most popular posts of last year we shared eight of the most common travel photography mistakes photographers make and suggested some simple ways to make every shot count when you’re travelling with your camera.

Today we’re going to get ahead of the curve and try to stop these mistakes before they happen by exploring 14 things you can do on holiday to give your travel photos a greater sense of creativity and originality.

14 travel photography tips for avoiding those common mistakes and cliches

01 Start shooting in-flight!
Get your holiday pictures started early by taking your camera on the plane as hand baggage and getting a window seat. With luck, you’ll get great aerial views of your destination. Push the lens as close to the window as you can as you shoot.

 SEE MORE: 79 travel photography tips you shouldn’t leave home without

02 Challenge yourself to find a new angle

Via Alamy

02 Challenge yourself to find a new angle
The challenge of a new photo location is that you don’t have the local knowledge, so you need to work harder to find the interesting vantage points.

One strategy is to keep a constant look out for elevated shooting positions, which will give you a bird’s-eye view of the scene.

Look for buildings with balconies or windows that you might be able to get access to, and keep asking yourself if there is any way you could get higher and give you a new perspective on the place you are visiting.

SEE MORE: Professional Photographer to the Rescue: how to tell a story with your travel photography

03 Find the best locations for the golden hours
On an average family holiday, balancing the demands of your family with your wish to shoot great travel pictures can be a struggle.

One solution is to put your camera away during the middle of the day when the sun is high in the sky and there are plenty of things to do with your companions.

Instead, plan to take pictures at first light before everyone is up, so you can get back to join them for breakfast.

You usually get the best light just after dawn, as the low sun creates warm-coloured light, and creates better shadows. Spend the rest of the day looking for places you can pop back to the next morning.

Sunset is also a great time to take pictures, and again you can plan your day so that you can be taking the shots you want to take while others are getting ready to go out for the evening.

If you are on a day trip, make sure you are in the best place when the sun begins to fall: head for a place with a high vantage point that will give you the most options for pictures of the setting sun.

SEE MORE: Golden hour photography – tips for taking magical landscapes and dusk and dawn

04 Take off the UV
When travelling, it may be sensible to protect your lens with a UV or skylight filter. Be sure to unscrew it when shooting long exposures of cityscapes as the extra layer of glass can cause unsightly ghost images of the bright lights.

 SEE MORE: 9 common filter mistakes every photographer makes (and how to avoid them)

05 Shoot the local food

05 Shoot the local food
The local food can say as much about a country or city as its architecture. When eating out, take time to take pictures of the dishes on the menu. Select the ones that will make the best shots, and shoot them against a plain backdrop.


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  • KG

    #1 is one of the biggest cliché holiday shots there is!