Top 7 Mistakes That Might Ruin Your Travel Pictures

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Now that we all have digital cameras with us at all times, we are bound to bring myriads of photos from our vacations. Some will be good, some will be decent, but some will be plain atrocious.

If your pictures mostly fall into two latter categories, that means you are doing something wrong. Let us have a look at the most recent mistakes people make while taking their travel pictures and find a way to avoid all of them. Let’s get rolling!

This post is part of our travel photography series


1. Failing to Portray Scale

You have probably come across tons of buildings or statues that were so grand in size they took your breath away. You snap a picture of it, but once you look at it – it brings no emotion whatsoever. The reason is that you cannot understand the scale of this object. That is why when shooting a monument of some grandeur, try to have some kind of reference point so that your view could identify the object’s size. For instance, encompass people into your photo to show how big a statue or a building is. 

2. Choosing the Wrong Time 

Travel photography usually implies that you shoot popular landmarks. And that in turn implies that they are swarming with people that are eager to get in the frame and ruin it. So beat tourists to your destination. Get up early, travel light, and be the first one on this spot. By the way, if you are lucky enough to capture the Golden Hour, you are almost sure to make a one-in-a-million shot. 

3. Behaving Like a Lazy Tourist

Well, nowadays, anyone who’s on a vacation and has a camera in their hands can be called a travel photographer. So if you don’t want to be a millionth person to snap a picture of, say, the Eiffel Tower, get off the beaten path. But not literally, though. You can go the same tourist routes, but just try to find a way to capture something less conventional or a way to shoot popular landmarks from unexpected angles. 

4. Lacking Patience

This one is less about making a bad shot, but more about not making the best shot. Travel photography can be downright exhausting. You can travel for miles and wait for hours just to push a button a few times. Be ready to persevere. Move from location to location, wait for hours on end to capture the picture you want. The best pictures are worth the wait and the strain.

5. Being Unfamiliar with Your Camera

Your romance with travel photography must begin the boring way – study your camera’s manual. Otherwise, you’ll be better off with a disposable camera. Knowing the functions of your equipment will help you set the right parameters and choose the perfect shooting mode. That means you won’t end up with blurry, under- and overexposed, or dull-colored photos. 

6. Not Using a Tripod

Yes, we know you can hold your camera well, but are you ready to do it for hours? Didn’t think so. Using a tripod will keep you from overstraining, snapping a pic with a slanted horizon, and whatnot. You can even use it to fend off polar bears. Just be sure to get a feather-weight model – these are perfect to travel with. 

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7. Underestimating Post-Production

Sometimes there’s just nothing you can do about your shooting conditions. So does that mean that your shot is ruined beyond repair? Not quite. This is where post-production comes in handy. Through photo editing, you can fix your pictures’ colors and dynamic range, sharpen it or blur it artistically, erase odd objects or random photobombers and so much more. 

Don’t quite know what image editor to pick? Luckily, there are tons of softwares to pick from, all depending on your skill level and budget.

If you are quite skilled at image enhancing and aren’t put off by a heavy price tag, go with Lightroom. This Adobe product comes with tools for color and tone correction, a collection of filters, and instruments for cropping and local adjustments.

If you are looking for more comprehensive, accessible, but yet capable software, try PhotoWorks. This AI-powered photo editor is packed with tools for both basic (like cropping, sharpening) adjustments, and advanced (tone and colour correction, noise reduction, etc.) enhancements. This software is refreshingly user-friendly but still brings pro-level results.

While if you prefer to do everything with your cell phone (including taking travel photos with it), then you’ll have a blast with Photo Editor Pro. This mobile app lets you enhance your shots right on your mobile device. You can colour correct, crop, and retouch your pictures, as well as apply filters – all of it with a few taps. 

Now that you know the 7 most common mistakes travel photographers make, we hope that you are now well-equipped to avoid them. However, there is still one more secret ingredient to being an excellent travel photographer that we feel you are ready to discover. And it is – just love what you are doing and have fun with it. It’s the only true way to create stunning photography. 


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More for our amateur photographers

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