Travel photography: avoiding tourists!

Some people travel for vacation, breaks, or to explore new places. I find myself traveling more often these days for the sake of taking fresh photos and see places on my photography bucket list. Photography during travel or during your family vacation is a rewarding experience.

However, some locations and popular destinations are frustrating. You arrive at a specific place early in the morning to find out that these places are crowded with tourists. You soon discover that it is impossible to shoot these places without people in them. Locations like these have also been shot many times and your photo is most probably a cliche in its final outcome. Below are some of my tips to get back home with stunning travel photography material. 

Have patience

For most photography genre, you need to have patience. Whether in street photography, landscape, macro, food, and off course travel photography, you need to have plenty of patience. Waite for the decisive moment or until that slow moving crowd moves and take the shot. Take more than one shot of the same place. There is a technique in photoshop that blends multiple photos together by eliminating moving elements but that's a material for another seperate topic. 

Change your perspective

Look up, left and right. Change your perspective many times for the same exposure. A good way to avoid the crowd is to shoot from a low angle and above their heads. Pointing your camera up makes an interesting angle. Architectural components can be dramatic when shooting from this perspective. You don't have to shoot the entire building all the time. 

Compose for details or crop

Get closer in your focal length and zoom in on subjects. Try it out for architecture, foos, faces, street signs, etc. Next time you are in Rome, walk into the market and shoot details with colors and textures. Try water puddles in the streets and windows reflections. The idea is to focus on details that can transmit your story without effort. 

Choose a better timing than mid-day

If you want good light and small number of people in the place, you have to be there very early like at the break of dawn. This is difficult though if you are traveling with family and friends. During this time however, most tourists are sleeping after a late party the night before. If you can't be there early, then be there late. In most circumstances, tourists leave those places late in the day like dinner time.

Shoot people

People and there faces are great travel theme. The diversity of cultures and social behavior are interesting subjects for me. Those are travel material for sure. Beware though to take permissions before pointing your camera at strangers' faces.

Needless to say, there are several other ways to approach this subject. The above are the most important for me but don't let that hold you. You are more than welcome to share your experience in travel photography in the comments below. My next destination for travel photography is the Nepal and India. What is yours?