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travel photography

Travel Photography: 5 Ways to Advance from Ordinary to Extraordinary

Everyone enjoys capturing moments through the lens, especially those of us who travel the World. One thing we have learned through our travel photography series is that it is not the camera that makes a great photograph, but the person holding it.

We hope the ‘30-day photography challenge‘ and the ’10 quick tips to improve your photographs’ has supported you and helped you take a step forward in improving your photography skills.

In our final post of the fabulously entertaining and educational ‘Travel Photography‘ series, we are going to dive deeper into the ways you can improve your skills as a photographer. The following tips will make you think differently when you have the camera in your hand.

Travel Photography Tip #1: Capture the Unexpected

Imagine you are standing in front of Buckingham Palace; you’ll see lots of people taking photos. Most of them will be standing directly in front of the palace, trying to fit it all into their viewfinder. Doing this will give you a typical travel pic, like a postcard, but it’s simple and expected.

Instead, get a different viewpoint. Try and get to a higher point or take a knee. Find a different angle. Capture a Beefeater with Buckingham Palace in the background. Focus on the crowds. There are so many ways to think outside the box.

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This is a typical and uninspiring photo of Buckingham Palace, which most visitors have in their photo album.

Travel Photography Tip #2: Do the Opposite

The average holiday goer will be aiming their lens towards icons like Buckingham Palace and capture an image like the ne above. For a completely different and potentially unique shot, turn your camera to the opposite direction or stand in a different location to achieve more.

Instead, you could capture an excellent image of:

  • The surrounding statues
  • Traditional English flower beds (see image below)
  • Excited tourists and their families
  • Londoners hustling through the crowds to get to work
  • The glorious Mall, famous for being the finish line of the London Marathon.




travel photography

Changing the location gives a whole new perspective of Buckingham Palace and now includes the seasonal flowers and epic statue, giving the image dimensions.


Who knows what you can see if only you simply turnaround and relocate your position?

Related: 10 Free Things to Do in London, UK

Travel Photography Tip #3: Don’t Stop Once You’re Satisfied

You never take one shot of something. You always try to take a few different shots of a subject or object. So, once you are happy with what you have captured, keep your camera in hand and take a couple more.

The last few shots will be for something weird, strange, and imaginative. Maybe something you think won’t work. Don’t limit yourself to satisfactory. Keep pushing for more!

Travel Photography Tip #4: Get Up Close and Personal

Think back to the scene at Buckingham Palace. Yes, it is a beautiful building, but there is so much detail to discover, which a simple landscape shot from 15 metres away can’t capture. Therefore, you need to physically stand closer or take advantage of your zoom capabilities.

Grand and usually old buildings, like palaces, museums and hotels, can have incredible ornate crown moldings, intricate designs, and exquisite patterns and you might be missing them.

At Buckingham Palace, for example, consider a close up of the entrance, the roof, corners, the flag waving in the wind or something else that catches your eye. There is plenty to see, you just need to focus in on it.

Related: Travel Photography: Upgrading Your Camera, for Beginners


travel photography

Sometimes it is the features that make something special and they deserve their own photograph.


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It would be a loss to not be able to capture this ornate detail on film.

Travel Photography Tip #5: Wander and Explore

There is a lot more to see in London, and every other city in the World, than the major tourist highlights. Discover the non-tourist parts of the city, so you can take incredible photographs that somebody else may never have captured. Your portfolio needs diversity and more than the ordinary.

In London, for example, try visiting the neighbourhoods on the outskirts of the city centre or the less travelled streets close to major attractions. Like the areas of Borough, Clapham and Wimbledon.

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Are you looking to make some money from your travel photographs? If you do, then ‘How to become a professional travel photographer‘ is a must read.

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