Boy photographing nature (Shutterstock.com. See main credit below)
Article Words : Wanderlust team | 20 February

The Wanderlust guide to the best travel photography advice

Everything you need to know to ensure your photos capture the magic of your trip of a lifetime.

Getting started

You’ve got your camera. You’ve got a couple of memory cards. Before you switch it on you could do worse than read Steve Davey’s 10 simple photography rules. Number 10 may take a while, but trust us, it will be worth it in the end.

Similarly, there are a few simple things you can do to improve your photos almost instantly. Tom Ang suggests taking a little extra time to compose your shots. Steve Davey offer top-notch advice on framing photos too.

Another photographic trick is to zoom in on the details. You may not find the devil, but more intriguing images await. Colour is key too, so make sure your read our article on making the colour in your travel shots really pop.

And when you’ve got all the rules down pat, Steve Davey tells you how to go out and break them.

More information

10 simple photography rules – Steve Davey
How to frame your photos – Steve Davey
Composition – Tom Ang
Zoom in on details – Steve Davey
Capturing colour on camera – Steve Davey
Breaking the rules of photography – Steve Davey

DSLR (Steve Davey)

Know your camera

With the level of sophistication offered by even the most basic of cameras these days, the temptation is to turn the dial to auto and just ‘point and shoot’. And while you’ll get some terrific shots – especially if you follow the advice on composition above – they won’t be as good as they could be.

This is where experimenting with the manual settings on your camera will pay big dividends. Exposure is the cornerstone of photography, so Steve Davey suggests starting with shutter speed and aperture.

Exposure can be tricky to master, but there’s a simple tool on most cameras that will help you gain control. It’s a histogram, and Steve gives you the lowdown on how to make it work for you.

When you’re ready to get a bit more creative, playing with ISO settings. They control how much light is required to make the exposure, allowing you to shoot hand-held in low light or create a blur in bright daylight. If you’ve only got a compact camera, don’t despair. Steve also has tips on how to get creative with it too.

Once you’ve mastered the controls on your camera, you may want to extend your lens selection. By investing in a range of lenses you can produce images in a range of scenarios – architecture, interiors, even wildlife – that would be more difficult with the limited range of focal lengths available with the standard kit lens.

More information

Exposure – Steve Davey
Experiment with ISO – Steve Davey
Understanding histograms – Steve Davey
Get creative with your compact camera – Steve Davey
Extend your lens selection – Steve Davey
Top 10 photography gadgets – Steve Davey

Indian girl (Steve Davey)

Perfect people shots

Want to take great people shots? Steve Davey reckons that shooting a portrait should be like holding a conversation. The more you engage your subject, the more a viewer will engage with your pictures.

Of course, there a number of technical tricks you’ll need to master too. And it’s important you remain respectful of your subject too. But done right, you’ll not only end up with a great photo, but you’ll probably make a friend as well.

Sometimes, however, a great ‘people’ shot will happen spontaneously – at a festival, in a market or in a place of worship. Steve has tips and advice on capturing great images in each of those situations as well.

More information

How to shoot great portraits – Steve Davey
Respecting locals – Steve Davey
Photographing festivals – Steve Davey
Photographing markets – Steve Davey
Photographing places of worship – Steve Davey

Salt flats (Steve Davey)

Capturing awesome landscapes

Landscape photography lends itself to capturing special pictures if you maintain your patience. The most challenging aspects are the lighting and how you compose your shot.

Having said that, each different type of landscape has it’s own idiosyncrasies that a photographer will have to take into account. Whether you want to capture the majesty of mountains, the vast emptiness of open spaces or the cloying claustrophobia of a jungle, you’ll need to employ very specific techniques. Steve Davey has a guide for each, as well as advice on how to photograph in snow, in sand and under waterfalls.

More information

Shooting photographs in the jungle – Steve Davey
Mastering mountains – Steve Davey
Shooting sand – Steve Davey
Shooting open spaces – Steve Davey
Photographing in the snow – Steve Davey
How to photograph waterfalls – Steve Davey

Taj Mahal framed (Steve Davey)

A fresh approach to familiar places

Chances are you’re going to come across an icon in your travels. A sight that has been photographed so many times that you feel as though you’ve been there before, even if you haven’t. That doesn’t mean that your photograph of it has to be clichéd. Abandon the stereotypes and think past the predictable angles and compositions, says Steve Davey.

Some icons, like the Northern Lights, demand a very particular approach. Capturing the perfect aurora shot will entail mastering harsh conditions as much as mastering your camera. Thankfully, William Gray is on hand with tips on how to do both.

Cities, too, need to be approached in a different way by photographers as well. Sophie Goldsworthy reveals five essential tips on photographing cities.

More information

Get shot of clichés: photographing travel icons – Steve Davey
5 essential tips for taking city shots – Sophie Goldsworthy
Snapping the Northern Lights – William Gray

Running zebra (Steve Davey)

Shooting wildlife

Snapping the world's wildlife is no mean feat. You have to make your own luck and be a quick-draw photographer. Field craft, getting in the right position, plays an important part as well.

We’ve asked some of the best wildlife photographers in the world for their advice. From Mark Carwardine to Paul Godlstein to Christopher Marsham, each share hard-won tips and unique perspectives that have won them awards and taken them to the top of their profession.

We’ve got specific advice for some of nature’s biggest events too. Paul Goldstein’s advice on shooting the Great Migration, for example, is essential reading if you’re planning witness – and document – this amazing wildlife spectacle.

More information

5 essential photography tips for wildlife images – Mark Carwardine
How to take amazing wildlife photos – Christopher Marsham
Top 15 tips for taking Great Migration shots – Paul Goldstein
Taking action shots – Steve Davey

Photographer on rocks (Steve Davey)

Ready to take it to the next level?

Wanderlust offer a range of travel photo workshops and photography trips that are designed to improve the skills of both beginners and professionals alike. Under the watchful eye of some of the biggest names in the business, you’ll explore the full controls and potential of your camera, understand the fundamentals of exposure and composition, discover easy ways to take great photos of people and places and develop confidence in spotting situations with photographic potential.

More information

Wanderlust travel photo workshops
Wanderlust Journeys
Marrakech Travel Workshop


Main image: Nature photographer with digital camera (Shutterstock)