Travel Photography tips with Mike.

Whenever we do an exhibition or showing, some people come up and want to talk about the photographs. Many of these say, “I can’t take photographs like that.”

My response is always the same, “Yes you can. Photography is something that can be learnt.”  When we are working as Artist in Residence at Yulara, if time permits, I’ll often offer to prove this by taking people out for an hour or so with their cameras or camera-phones.

In forthcoming editions of our newsletter and blog I will include a series of tips for people interested in travel photography. These won’t be highly technical. Anyone should be able to try them with basic cameras or phone cameras. Depending on your experience, you may already be familiar with some of these already.  Some of them are based more on my personal style.

Should readers want to talk to me about any of this, you can email me.

I use Sony equipment. All cameras are now very good, it really doesn’t matter what brand you choose. While all cameras can do much the same, they are set up differently and I may not know where to find particular controls on the camera you use. That’s another reason why this series isn’t going to be heavy on technical stuff. If your question is about equipment that I don't know, I may not know the answer but I can probably help you to find where the answer might be. 

Practice. When you are travelling you want to be enjoying the travel. You don’t want to be wrestling with new ideas or a new camera while you are getting that once in a lifetime shot. Just about everything we will talk about will be easier if you have had a few tries beforehand. Most of this becomes second nature quite quickly.

Tip One. Get up early.

  • Most photographs are taken by tourists at much the same time of day. Taking photos outside regular hours is a fast way to get photos that look “different.” Probably 75% of my travel shots are done very early in the day.

  • Colour changes during the day. I like the warmer colours in the early hours. They give impact. Clouds are often more dramatic either early or late in the day.
  • Fewer crowds. You can get closer to things and have many places more to yourself. If it is something that requires queuing, the earlier the better.
  • Many people are doing interesting things as they set up for the day.

  • Low sun angles means long shadows and you can often use these effectively (we’ll talk about this again later in the series). I don’t do selfies but I will often use my shadow in the shot.
  • Low sun angle brings out textures and patterns on sand and many other subjects


Next Tip. The Hokusai technique (coming soon)