7 Tips For Planning the Perfect Photography Trip


Are you planning your next photography trip? This video from Nigel Danson outlines 7 tips for planning the perfect photography trip.

In this awesome video, Nigel covers in some detail the following points:

1. Ensure You Take the Right Gear

Use Adobe Lightroom (or other post-processing applications you may use) to check out your favorite shots so you can see what lens you used. Chances are, you will find a trend towards one or two lenses, helping you to rule out the ‘just-in-case’ lenses. Try to stick to just 2 or 3.

Tripod – something that is lightweight, yet durable is a good choice.

Lens cloth – helpful for drying and cleaning your camera.

Portable hard drive – to download your images from your camera.

USB Battery Charger – If you run out of battery power on-location you can recharge via the USB.

Handwarmers (if in cold locations) – great for warming hands (and batteries) when in cold or icy climates.

2. Be Sure To Test All New Gear.

Check all the settings on any new camera gear to both make sure they work the way you expect, and so you know how to use them!

3. Understand Your Location

Research the location beforehand. Use tools like Google Earth to allow you to visualize a place in 3D. With Google Earth, you can get an idea of the scenic points that you can see from particular positions..

Check maps for routes, trails, and locations to narrow down where you would like to visit.

Make a google map of that area and plot your locations.

4. Focus on Fewer Locations

Plan out the best locations, so you don’t end up with just lots of holiday snaps. The more time you spend in a particular location, the more you can explore the light and angles, and get much better images as a result.

5. Understand the Time of Year in Detail

Understanding the time of year in detail means you have a better understanding of when the sun rises and sets in that place and its position in the sky. Where the sun sits dictates the composition of your shot. A good app for checking these things is Photopills. Also, check the weather forecasts.

6. Research the History and Culture of the Location

You want to tell a story about the location you are visiting. You want to let people know what it was like there (to accompany your photos either via blog or in person). Having a background to your images is excellent for these reasons. It is also great to have conversations with locals about the area.

Employ a local guide while you are there to find out the best spots and to get background information.

7. Explore Social Media and the Web

Take a look at what other people are photographing in that location, and look to take photos in spots that are covered least. That way you aren’t just making the same images as everyone else!

Be sure to follow some of Nigel Danson’s tips for planning the perfect photography trip.

If you have any tips of your own that you would like to share, please let us know in the comments below.

You may also find the following articles on our site useful:

Beginner’s Guide to Natural Light in Landscape Photography

5 Landscape Photography Mistakes That Keep Your Images From Standing Out

Using Layers and Foreground Interest for Better Landscape Photography



Read more from our Tips & Tutorials category

Caz Nowaczyk lives in Wollongong, Australia and has worked as a photographer, filmmaker, and designer in her business, Exposure Arts and Media, for 15 years. Her background extends to Digital Content Management for radio, and Editorial Design for the news industry. In her spare time, she composes music as Dreamgirl and the Motorist. Since the age of 12, she knew she would be a photographer - the other stuff came as a surprise!

  • great tips! As a photographer who loves portraiture and street photography I would add that it’s good to research if it’s acceptable to photograph the local people at the places you’ll be visiting. I know in some European countries photographing and uploading people pictures online is not appreciated (and may even be illegal,) but that in many places (like here in Thailand,) it’s not problem at all.

  • Joel Bader

    Nothing was mentioned about weight restrictions. I’m glad the aforementioned commentator talked about legal ethical issues, although ethical considerations and manners should also be considered; they vary from place to place. Finally, what if a photographer wants to make money with the photos (such as stock photographs) while on a trip? That could be a bonanza–or open another set of issues. Preparation pays.

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