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How to improve your travel photography

Richard Bernabe has travelled to more than 60 countries, shooting for clients including National Geographic, CNN, the New York Times and the BBC. Richard also leads photography tours and workshops, and is a global influencer in the fields of photography, travel and wildlife conservation. Here are his top tips to get the most out of your trip.

Read time: 2 minutes


Tell a cultural story

When you’re travelling, you get to learn so much about a new culture. But telling a story about a place or culture can be difficult to do in only one photo. Try to compress too much content and context into one photograph and it can easily fail. My tip is to completely immerse yourself in a place before you begin shooting, and to tell your story with a series of images. Then, you can come away with photos with depth and meaning; ones that show the textures and rhythms of a place.


Image Trumpeting penguins by Richard Bernabe



Shooting backlit images

You can inject such power into an image simply by using light in clever ways. In the case of this image, the strength is in the backlighting. But a common problem when photographing into the sun like this is fighting off lens flare and ghosting. Use a lens hood or introduce some sort of obstruction that blocks the light from glancing off the front element of the lens.


Image Multiple coastal moods by Richard Bernabe



Composition rules (sometimes) don’t matter

If you’re photographing a group of animals or birds, try to ensure that at least the closest subject is in focus. That said, general aesthetics are more important than achieving technical perfection or adhering to ‘rules’ of composition. Often the best composition is one that just feels right. I think about the ‘balance’ or ‘flow’ and keep my mind uncluttered as I explore the world around me visually. I might find later that I’ve broken one of those ‘rules’, which only makes the image more special and gives me intense joy and delight.


Image What a circus! by Richard Bernabe


You can find four more tips and images from Richard, as well as the stories behind the images featured above, here!

Looking for better photos all round? Check out these pro tips for fashionfamily and food photography!

If you try these tips for yourself, don’t forget to tag us in your photos on social media using the handle @PhotonewsPN!

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