Improve your travel photography with these 12 pro tips

Your vacation can provide endless opportunities for brilliant photography, no matter where in the world you decide to go. Now that travel is part of our plans again, it’s time to hone your photography skills. AT the first part of my two-part travel photography guideI’ve introduced you to the kit you should take with you, whether it’s a great phone like the iPhone 13 Pro or Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra or a dedicated camera like the Canon EOS R5 or Leica M11.

Now I’m going to give you some of the best tips you should remember when traveling the world to help you come back with great travel shots instead of a boring bunch of holiday shots.

Get to know your kit

Knowing how to use the camera quickly, I was able to capture the fleeting golden light of this sunset in Scotland.

Andrew Lankson/CNET

Learning how to use the camera will not only help you take better and more creative pictures, but it will also help you take those pictures faster because you don’t have to fiddle with settings. Some of the most breathtaking travel footage can come and go in a split second, so whether you’re filming a bull run in Pamplona or a snowboarder descending from a mogul in Switzerland, you need to learn how to shoot fast.

Exit automatic mode

Spend some time with the camera in manual mode before you leave. Learn how to change shutter speed, aperture, ISO sensitivity, and white balance, and experiment with what happens to your images when you change these settings. A good camera will be able to take some great shots in automatic mode, but if you want to get creative with long exposures, you’ll have to manually manage the settings.


Learning how to use manual control will allow you to get creative with long exposures.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

shoot raw

If your camera has one (and most do), shoot raw. Yes, it creates larger files, but memory cards are now so cheap that it’s worth carrying around a couple more 32 GB cards. Shooting raw allows you to change the white balance after the shot and capture more detail in very bright and very dark areas, allowing you to soften any washed out skies or brighten up some shadows in Photoshop.


Shooting in RAW allows you to fine-tune things like white balance after you’ve taken the shot.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

While it’s always best to get the right shot the first time you take it,…

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