Tips for Great Travel Photos


Retirement travel is the number one goal for aging boomers.  Travel can be a great way to relax, enjoy some time alone or see the exciting sights of the world.  You will often create unforgettable memories during your travels, and one way to preserve them is through photos.  Travel photography can help you relive the special moments experienced during your trips.  We’re going to discuss 10 photography tips that will help you improve your travel photos and have you shooting like a pro!

Tip #1:  Keep It Steady

It doesn’t matter how captivating the background or subject of your photo if you move your hands or camera while shooting.  Nobody can appreciate the quality of a blurred photo.  Like a travel photographer, it’s important to relax while shooting and keep the camera as steady as possible.  You can rest your elbows on your chest or lean against a fence or a wall for additional support.

Tip #2:  Zoom In Closer

Simple, uncluttered travel photos are often the most captivating and effective.  Therefore, you shouldn’t be afraid to use the zoom feature of your camera.  By focusing in on a person’s face or removing distracting background details, you can improve your photos.

Tip #3:  Focus on Lighting

Lighting plays an important role in the success of your travel photos.  That’s why it’s important to try to shoot photos with the sun behind you and to one side.  Front lighting will enhance the shades and colors of your photo and the side lighting will create shadows that add visual appeal and texture.

Tip #4:  Add People, Not Just Scenery

It’s great to capture the breathtaking beauty of your surroundings in your retirement travel.  However, don’t forget to include some photos of interesting people or friends, family or traveling companions.  You can also include a self-portrait using the self-timer on your camera.  Including a person beside a landmark can also help to add visual scale.  

Tip #5: Determine the Best Format

Great travel photography also involves determining the most suitable format for your photos.  If you choose a vertical format, you can emphasize the height of tall objects such as buildings or trees.  On the other hand, a horizontal format will enable you to create an impressive display of mountains or majestic scenery.

Tip #6:  Create Visual Depth

Try to create visual depth in your photographs by adding an object or person in the foreground.  You can also use a wide angle lens to create a more three-dimensional aspect to your photos.

Tip #7:  The Rule of Thirds

Resist the temptation to place your subject in the center of your travel pictures.  It is usually much more interesting to employ the rule of thirds; visually divide the shot into thirds and place your subject on one of the intersecting “lines.”  

Tip #8:  The Power is in the Details

Rather than merely trying to capture everything in a shot, try to focus in on one or more important details.  This can create a more powerful photo.  For example, you can focus on one particular flower in a flower bed.

Tip #9:  Change the Horizon

You can emphasize different aspects of your photos by placing the horizon in different areas.  Choosing a high horizon will focus on the land, whereas a low horizon will emphasize the sky.

Tip #10:  Variety is the Spice of Life

Remember, that even the most beautiful travel photos will be become boring if they all look the same.  Try choosing different angles, adding people or objects or shooting in different weather conditions.  Variety is the spice of life, and this also holds true in photography!

Great photos are important mementos of retirement travel.  They provide great memories and something to share with others.  Travel photography is one of the fastest growing hobbies for aging boomers.  Enjoy!!

About Cathy Severson

Cathy Severson helps baby boomers find more meaning and purpose in their lives and work. Get your copy of her complimentary e-book Guide to Retirement Activities a comprehensive look at work, volunteering and leisure based on an individuals’ personalities. Call for a complimentary 20-minute consultation to answer your most pressing concern. 928.775.4949 or email Cathy at

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