Ultimate Guide to Travel Photography

Writing and talking about travel is a great way to share your adventures with friends and family. But as the saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” The resources in this guide will help you get more out of your travel photos, and enhance the enjoyment you get from taking them. There’s great stuff for newbies and weekend picture-takers, as well as for the more experienced photographer. You’ll even find some great information for taking your travel photography passion to the next level by participating in documentary and humanitarian projects.

Equipment and Tools

The first thing to consider with travel photography is what kind of gear you’ll need and how you’re going to pack it around safely to all of your destinations. Whether you use a smartphone or a sophisticated camera, it’s a good idea to figure out what additional gear you should have to ensure getting the best shots possible. The following pages will run you through some different types of travel photography equipment so you can figure out what you need.

Travel Photography Gear – This site teaches people how to use digital cameras to their fullest potential. The gear page lists the basic equipment you should take with you when leaving on a trip.

Flying With Camera Gear – This is a thorough and very helpful article that goes over every thing you need to know about flying with your photography equipment.

Travel Tools for the Mobile Photographer – If you’re just starting out, you might be taking your travel photos with a smartphone. If so, check out these handy apps and gadgets to augment your phone’s camera and enhance the images you take with it.

Equipment for Beginner Nature Photographers – This article was written particularly for nature photographers, but is applicable to those interested in travel photography. Find out some of the favorite equipment of top nature photographers, and why they use it.

Travel Photography Tips and Advice

Photography is both science and art. You can learn all of the technical terms, but nothing replaces experience. In the pages that follow, top travel photographers share their best tips and tricks for creating the most striking and high quality images possible. There are plenty of sites that promise to offer great advice for the travel photographer, but not all of them give truly useful insights. You can be sure that the resources listed here contain valuable advice from talented experts that you won’t find just anywhere.

Critical Tips for Travel Photographers – If you want to take things a few steps beyond casually snapping some vacation shots, make sure to read through these tips from renowned travel photographer Joey L. He has a deeper insight and more experience than most, and you probably haven’t heard most of these pointers before.

Take Better Travel Photos – This excellent article by the extremely talented travel photographer Timothy Allen takes you through some rather unconventional – and extremely helpful – tips for improving the quality of your travel photos. If you’re serious about creating stunning images that stand out, this is an absolute must-read.

Jim Richardson: Notes and Tips From the Field – Richardson, a longtime staff photographer for National Geographic, regularly shares his professional and personal insights here. Not only are there loads of articles filled with great information, each is also accompanied by his signature images.

Travel Safely as a Photographer – Something many people don’t consider is that there are certain additional safety concerns for the tourist traveling as a photographer. Don’t go running around a foreign country with your camera until you read through these tips.

Travel Photography Sites

If you’re into travel photography on any level, make note of these sites now. Each is full of rich images for inspiration, expert advice, reviews of equipment and destinations, and friendly communities full of other travel photography lovers. Each of the following sites and blogs is as unique as it is helpful, and you’ll probably want to come back often since they are all regularly updated with fresh information.

Travel Photography Review – An excellent site for travel photographers, The Review offers how-to guides, product reviews, and articles.

Travel Photographers Network – This online magazine has articles, reviews, and an active forum where you can chat with other travel photographers. There are also plenty of amazing photos to inspire you.

Lonely Planet – Lonely Planet is a popular site among travel photography enthusiasts. On it you’ll find travel guides, reviews of hotels around the world, booking services, and a forum full of fellow travel photographers.

Stuck in Customs – Stuck in Customs is an exciting and popular travel photography blog. It’s updated almost daily with fresh photos, tips, and musings from an avid and prolific traveling photographer.

Contests and Grants for Travel Photographers

There are actually quite a few contests for travel photographers out there, and many offer some pretty impressive prizes for the winners. Of course, you have to watch out for scams and sites that just want to use your images for free. The contests and opportunities outlined in this section are legitimate and highly respected among photographers. You’ll find two of the top yearly contests for travel photographers of all levels, along with two nonprofit groups who offer financing to travel photographers and photojournalists.

Travel Photographer of the Year – This contest is open to everyone from novice to professional. There are several categories for entries and winners will receive prizes as well as the opportunity for their work to be seen by a large audience.

World in Focus – This contest is open to both amateur and expert travel photographers. If you win, your work will be featured on a worldwide platform and you’ll be eligible to win some really valuable prizes.

The Alexia Foundation – For the more involved travel photographer, this foundation exists to shed light on social injustice through photography. They regularly award grant money to photojournalists who want to use their talent to promote positive change in the world.

Blue Earth Foundation – This group supports the use of travel photography to highlight endangered habitats, animals, and cultures around the world. If you are a talented travel photographer and want to use your passion to promote conservation and humanitarian efforts, you can apply for a grant.