Travel Photography Tips & Tricks for Beginners

Travel Photography Tips Part 1 – The right equipment

If you love to travel, nothing can be better than coming home with amazing travel photographs and memories of your trip.  To help you create the best memories, here are my favorite travel photography tips & tricks, especially for beginners, to use on your next vacation.

(Please note:   I will never recommend a product I do not use myself.  I do post some affiliate links in this post, and if you enjoy the post and chose to purchase the equipment through the link you will help support this blog.)

Travel Photography Tips #1: Get the Right Camera

travel photography in switzerland mountains
I love the wifi connection in the Canon 6D and it gives me the opportunity to be in the pictures while also taking the picture. I took this in Switzerland, using my phone as a remote.

Although traveling with a larger camera might seem complicated or like too much hassle, most of the beautiful pictures you see on Instagram were probably shot by a high-quality DSLR camera.If you are looking to upgrade from your cell phone camera, I would strongly suggest looking at a good DSLR for a few different reasons. 

First; the quality of the images is bound to be better, even if you are still fairly new to photography. 

Second; you will get flexibility with a DSLR camera to use different lenses (if you desire) which will give you different effects.

Third; many DSLR cameras (including the one I suggest below) come with a wifi connection – this means you can set up your camera and shoot beautiful pictures of your family all while being in the picture yourself – this feature is priceless for great memories. 

travel photography in ecuador mountains
This is a shot I took of myself – using wifi feature and a tripod.

The camera I use is the Canon 6D.  Although I love travel photography, I must admit I am not very nice to my cameras – I had this one soaked in Niagara falls, and a few months later almost covered by a wave in a mini tsunami in Bali.

Also Read: Must visit attractions in Bali Island

I have probably dropped it a few hundred times in between.  My Canon 6D still works beautifully and has never needed a repair (unlike some of my lenses).  I don’t have a special case for it – just put it into a ziplock bag in my backpack. 

Almost every picture you see on my Instagram starting from October 2016 was shot with my Canon 6D camera.  I recommend this one because its solid, easy to use and has enough flexibility for anyone from amateur to a professional. 


Travel Photography Tips 2:  Get the Right Starter (kit) Lens. 

I originally bought my 6D because it came highly recommended by a friend, a professional photographer who’s work I admire.  She also suggested I get this lens to go with my new camera:


When it showed up, to say I was disappointed would be an understatement.  I hated this lens.  It did not zoom. 

At all.  I just paid $500 for a lens that doesn’t zoom… why?  I pmd her.  “Girl, I hate this lens.  There is no zoom!” “Give it a chance,” she said. “Oh alright, I agreed.”  But only because Amazon’s return policy is so generous I figured I’d return it in 30 days. 

travel photography made easy - equipment you should have
This little lens really grew on me – it was the only one I took to Patagonia.

You know what?  She was 100% right. This lens is my “kit lens” and one that stays on my camera a good 70% of the time. 

Its incredibly sharp, beautiful wide-angle lens that takes gorgeous pictures in nature, and not having a zoom has forced me to become a better photographer, as I have to use my imagination to picture how the final (cropped) result will look.  (A similar lens with zoom does exist – but it costs much more and is far heavier, which makes it impractical for a basic kit lens). 

The 28 mm I recommend is super light and I can use it when I can’t carry much, like in case of a hike or a trek.   Although I have many zoom lenses now, I still prefer my very first, fixed lens. 

patagonia chile blue glacier
One of my favorite images from Patagonia, the grey glacier.

Travel Photography Tips 3: Use Lightroom Presets

I know, I know it sounds like a hassle.  Its not, its easy , I promise! Lightroom presets are basically photoshop settings someone else created that you can apply to your own pictures.  With just one click you can transform your photographs from nice to breathtaking.  Check out some of these originals and transformed with just one click of a button. 

travel photography tips - lightroom edit samples

You can see the enormous difference between the pictures and the drama you achieve with very little work.  Of course you can tone the drama down a lot, as you desire.

I spend much more than 5 minutes editing my pics but you can see that you don’t need a lot of time for amazing photos.  Lightroom presets are available from a wide variety of sources and most of mine are free, although on occasion I do buy presets when I see a great deal. 

To learn to use lightroom and photoshop just watch some free youtube videos – you’ll be glad you did.  If you really want to get into it, I have a subscription which I watch whenever I have free time to try and perfect my skills.

That’s it for part one on travel photography, I hope you learned something interesting.  Next time I will discuss how to take amazing travel photographs, how to shoot in different types of light, a tripod recommendation and my second lens recommendation.  If you enjoyed this post please leave a comment!

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8 Responses

  1. Wow this is helpful. I really need to try light room!! I usually just use apps like Snapseed and VSCO.

  2. Your captures are so incredible! I love all your tips too, they are so true! I’m just now learning lightroom and I’m so excited to see where it leads me.

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Looking for vacation ideas or travel tips? You’ve come to the right place! 
On, you will find one-week vacation itineraries for couples and families.  Don’t have time for a week-long trip? Check out my weekend getaway ideas!
Always practical, accompanied by beautiful photography and a bit of history, my goal is to help you create – and fulfill – the ultimate travel bucket list.  I look forward to your comments and questions, and happy traveling!

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