Chilling in Chile: How to travel smart
Looking for a way to spice up your travel bucket list? Just add some Chile! South America offers some truly unique ...KEEP READING
Written by Chris Eyre-Walker
I’ve been on the road for 15 months now and have captured images in all kinds of climate zones from freezing, horizontal rain in Iceland to life in the crumbling streets of Cuba to underwater surfing action in French Polynesia.
Today I’d like to share some of my travel photography tips to help you capture those special moments you experience during your travels and make them look exactly how they felt during that moment.
I used to travel with over 20 kg of camera gear. Crazy right?!
Two years ago I made the switch to mirrorless Olympus OM-D cameras – probably the best thing I’ve done for my back in the last ten years. I’ve not only reduced the size and weight of my camera gear to just under 10 kg, but I’ve also made it so much easier to capture great travel moments by minimising the intrusion a big camera and flash might be without compromising image quality.
So my travel photography tip #1- travel light. Reduce your gear to the absolute minimum and like everything else in technology, go smaller – use a smaller camera, not only to save weight and space, but to actually improve the experience of those special travel moments. Olympus OM-D cameras have really helped my travel photography progress to what it has become today and it’s thanks to the reduced size and weight of the gear.
We all love it: That time when the sun is low on the horizon and covers everything in warm, golden tones. Every place looks better at golden hour and that’s when you want to be out shooting photos.
This means that you have two options: either squeeze in a photo or two between exploring the streets and dinner or, get up early, beat the crowds and capture the world as it wakes up and gets going. You would be surprised by what’s happening at these hours. You get it, I’m all for being up early and being the first at a location. That way you avoid having other tourists in your photos and you get to actually share a moment or story no one else is seeing.
Researching your destination by simply doing a Google image search can make the difference between an average travel photo and an exceptional one. In the preparation phase I’ll usually make a collection of photos for each country I’m going to visit and will try to place them on a map. That way I have a visual idea of where I can capture what kind of image.
Once on the road, I recommend not checking the research images anymore. Just trust your memory and try to capture a unique perspective of the place. After all, it’s your story, your creative freedom – don’t restrain yourself by what others have captured, but instead be inspired by it.
Sometimes good travel photos happen as snapshots. However, great ones are mostly a result of careful planning, preparing and patience. Some require months of research, some require the moment to be right.
Perhaps one of the reasons a lot of people come home somewhat disappointed with their travel photographs is simply because they didn’t make the time to actually take photos. If you’re finally visiting a place you’ve saved up to for a long time then consider taking a few hours just focusing on capturing photos. If you’re in a location where there’s a good photo to be had then try your best to get it. Be patient, return at different times of the day, try different lenses etc. and dedicate a few hours at the right light to capture the feeling of a place properly.
I’ll never leave a good location or moment without knowing that I got the best possible shots. All the preparation I do is really only there to maximise the opportunities for great shots.
As much as planned shots or locations are great for the perfect postcard travel photos. It’s really the unexpected moments in between that make the best travel photos. If you’re already taking the time to focus on photography while travelling, then I recommend to use that time to get lost. Get lost in the side streets, talking to locals, exploring nature, in those creative moments. And you will end up with more authentic moments rather than the typical tourist shots.
Images by Chris Eyre-Walker. Chris Eyre-Walker is an Olympus Australia Visionary and adventure photographer. You can follow his journey and adventures at www.chriseyrewalker.com, on Facebook and Instagram.