Tough Part of being a Travel Photographer

Everyone wish to get great pictures from their holiday, the only difference is in the satisfaction level and requirement. Most of the people want pictures for travel memories, so they are not very much concerned about shadows/highlights and several other aspects as long as they are looking good in those pictures. Then there is another section of people who are infected by a bug called Photography and these people are really serious about getting a perfect travel picture.

I proudly belong to the second section and am clicking happily from last 5 years. Now in our Euro trip of 90 days as I am clicking pictures everyday, I started analyzing the efforts I put behind that one perfect shot.

We don’t enjoy sunsets, we click sunsets

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Having a drink at a nice rooftop restaurant, listening to a good music or having a good conversation with your partner while watching the sun slowly going down the horizon; this is not our cup of tea. We are usually busy in setting up a tripod and changing exposure settings to click one great picture of that moment.

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You can’t expect a romantic evening walk along a sea shore or even at most romantic places like Santorini because that’s the time for our long exposure shots. We are mostly free in the afternoon as there is nothing much to click in the harsh sunlight. So, our romantic hours are 10 am  to 5 pm.


One pictures sometime costs us a meal

Even after sunset when everyone left to have dinner, we stay because then only the most important time starts called Blue Hour and sometimes even after that if it is a city. Then in a place like Europe where sun sets at 9:30-10 pm and most of the restaurants close at 10 pm, we end up having a dinner with minimum options from a local pizzeria or sometimes nothing (we had bread- jam and muesli in dinner at few places where restaurants close at 9:30 pm).

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Always trying to click different

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I simply like this picture of St. Stephen’s Basilica in Budapest because of the angle of the shot

Every place has one best view point where everyone click their picture which is precisely the reason we spend minimum time at that point. We don’t want to click a church from the front or a city from the most famous sunset point because it is very common and everyone will click the same picture. Now, we start looking for alternate angles and view points (sometimes from the middle of a road) which may not be the best but different. I once read a quote from one famous photographer, “If someone said my picture looks like a postcard, I take that as an insult”.

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Left : When you setup the tripod in a middle of the highway and see a car coming | Right : Final shot which inspires you to do this again

We start judging places by its crowd

Our definition of a perfect landscape shot or a travel picture is that it should not have anyone else in the frame. So, if a place is too crowded, it can’t be on our list. I personally prefer clicking a lake in peace than a castle with thousands of other visitors.

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Left : It is the most famous sunset point in Oia, Santorini | Right : Lake in Flores where you will find maximum 10 people at a time.

We will do anything to beat the crowd

If there is slight possibility to avoid the crowd, we will do anything for the same. Nothing in this world can convince me to wake up early in the morning except a promising sunrise shot or an early morning chance to avoid crowd in my pictures. We woke up at 5:00 am and took the first metro in Rome for a picture at Trevi fountain with no one around, we spent extra 100 euros to enter the Vatican Museum 1 hour before the general crowd as a VIP entry and  we even waited outside the Acropolis half an hour before its opening time just for a perfect picture with no one else in the frame.———–description of the picture

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Left : Common view of Trevi Fountain which everyone sees at normal hours | Right : A view when you put some efforts and reach at 6 am

Extra heavy luggage

“Life is much easier for those who are carry just GoPro or mobile phones with selfie sticks”, I usually get this feeling when we are on a trek and I am carrying my heavy camera bag with tripod.

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With all these differences in place when I see the final process version of my click on laptop screen, that sense of achievement make all the efforts worth it. Next morning, I get ready again to explore the world through my lens.

Share your experiences and stories behind your travel pictures in the comments below.

2 Replies to “Tough Part of being a Travel Photographer”

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