You think travel photography is all about going places and clicking pictures while having a good time? Think again! Professional travel photography requires an enormous amount of dedication along with a shrewd business brain to market one’s work.
Some of the downsides include waking up at the most ungodly hour to capture the perfect shot with the sun rising, carrying equipment as heavy as three backpacks, and the worst of all, missing out on enjoying the travel experience itself because you are too busy capturing it through your camera.
If you don’t mind these, then travel photography can also be a rewarding and enriching experience like no other.
Now, talking about the tools, while DSLR remains the gold standard of high-end travel photography, GoPro cameras and even smartphones play an important role in helping you capture the perfect picture.
The next question that often arises is what are the most important skills a travel photographer should learn. That is certainly a deceptively difficult question as the skills required for awesome travel photography are as varied as the myriad situations in which travel photographers might find themselves.
However, here’s my take on what are the three most important skills every travel photographer should possess:
1.Being Ready All The Time
While this sounds simple, this is the hardest to master. You absolutely don’t know when and where the perfect opportunity for a brilliant picture will arise. It can happen just for a few brief seconds that the sun casts the perfect halo around the mountains or the dolphin comes out of the ocean to jump and play. The point is that you have to remain at an eternally alert mode.
“The travel photography of 2016 is nothing like that of 2001, as it’s evolved substantially with the development of tablets, digital cameras & advanced editing software,” says Mr Le Paulmier, an international travel photography expert. “This is a very demanding activity, which requires a tremendous amount of skills, from the use of the camera, to the editing, all the while understanding how light & seasonality affects the quality of your work. On top of that, if you speak several languages, it helps a lot when traveling abroad”.
Also, it can be difficult to shake off fatigue after a tough day of hiking and walking for miles to run for your camera at a short notice. So the first skill you must master is to always be ready with your camera.
It helps to have several types of equipment at your disposal so that you can reach out for any one of them when the opportunity arises. Don’t waste time trying to set up your DSLR when you have only a few seconds for the picture.
Using your smartphone in such situations would be the best choice. Therefore, you must also practice taking good shots with all your different cameras.
Again, as rudimentary as this might sound, practicing is the only way to perfect your skills as a travel photographer. Being camera ready at the minutest of opportunities, experimenting with different lighting and committing to memory all the different settings and functions on your camera is the only way to go!
3.Master the Art of Editing
Good editing can totally make or break your chances of success as a travel photographer. Whether it is a picture or a video you are dealing with, analyzing every aspect and a keen attention to detail is mandatory to create picture-perfect results.
Experiment with different tools and options to see the different results. Of course, this would likely be the most time-consuming part of the project but it is, nevertheless, also the most important.
Now, get ready for the perfect shot!