In a world where Facebook and Instagram is overly present, travel pictures have become more important than ever. Not only do we want them to represent our travel memories, but we want to be proud to show off back home and online.
Here are a few tips to capture your outdoor adventures so you can brag to your family, co-workers and social media followers.
Tip 1 – Chase the light
Sunrise and sunset hours are referred to as the golden hours among photographers. Sunrise often has the advantage that there are no flocks of tourists around so you can capture the destination without worrying about groups of people. At this time, light is best. Pre-sunrise and post-sunset works as well.
This photo was taken early in the morning (5am or something) in Snowdonia, Wales while hiking the Miner’s track. We were only 15 minutes from the parking, but the sunrise was so beautiful that we easily lost like half an hour.
Tip 2 – Don’t pose
Tourists pose. Travelers interact with the surroundings. If you follow our blog you will notice that our faces are rarely on the pictures. This is because we strongly believe that the best travel photos are the ones where we are part of the scene, rather than in front of the scene.
This photo was taken by Linsay without me knowing about it. We had spend the whole afternoon paddling our way towards the glacier in the Tempelfjorden in Spitsbergen. When finally there, we admired the amazing view while listening to the cracking sounds. She took the time to snap a picture of me that captured the whole moment.
Tip 3 – Tell a story
The best travel photos tell a story. We love to take a look at our travel pics because most of them easily bring back the memories and stories we have experienced while traveling.
Again an unexpected travel photo of me during our jungle survival course in Belize. This photo captures perfectly how Marcos showed us all the tricks of surviving in the Belizean jungle.
Tip 4 – Tiny people, big impact
Mountains are huge. But the best way to emphasize their size is by putting them into perspective.
This is my climbing team on the first days of our Aconcagua expedition. While watching the south face of the highest peak outside of the Himalayas, we were so impressed by its magnitude.
Tip 5 – Use a Go Pro stick
Sometimes you just need to be on the picture. Taking selfies is best done with a tripod, but in the outdoors that is not always easy as ground surface is uneven, or in this case… non-existant.
Our ballooning trip in Bagan was one of the best experiences in Myanmar. We took several pictures of the ride, but this one was best by far. The fisheye lens made it even more epic.
Tip 6 – Ask local people
Research can help you get the best angles or locations for taking travel photos. But the best advice is to ask local people for help. They know the best tricks to capture that top attraction.
This travel photo of me in front of the Treasury in Petra, Jordan is a combination of tricks. I waited for the gates to open at 6 am so I would be alone at the archeological site. There were only ten other people with me at that moment. While most of them just captured the Treasury in front, or posed while taking a selfie, I asked for advice at one of the bedouins living here. He showed me a spot right after the corner that looked a bit strange, but offered the best over-the-shoulder angle for capturing Petra.
Tip 7 – Be Active
This is easy if you have a girlfriend that loves taking photos. Most of our travels are active adventures in which we are hiking, paddling or climbing mountains. While I’m not the type of traveler that puts in lot of effort to take pictures and rather enjoy being active at the moment, having a girlfriend behind you that captures your moves works perfectly for snapping epic travel photos.
This photo was taken on our descent after having climbed Zumsteinspitze (4563m) in the Swiss Alps.
- Early birds not only have the best light, but they avoid the huge crowds as well.
- Be creative with angles (do Instagram research)
- Keep the rule of thirds in mind!
- Experiment with composition
- Be aware of details
- Take your time!