Travel Photography ~ Think Outside The Postcard When Photographing Famous Landmarks

Travel Photography ~ Think Outside The Postcard When Photographing Famous Landmarks

How many of you have found yourselves in front of an iconic landmark and felt discouraged because every possible shot had already been made by thousands of tourists before you? You are on the trip of a lifetime. Your goal is certainly not to bring back pictures that look like the postcards at the souvenir shop.

Photographing a reflection of a famous landmark such as the US Capitol in DC was a good way to avoid the cliché shot that every other tourist snaps daily. Adding the human element adds a sense of scale.

Photographing a reflection of a famous landmark such as the US Capitol in DC was a good way to avoid the cliché shot that every other tourist snaps daily. Adding the human element adds a sense of scale.

Here are a few tips to ‘think outside the postcard’ when you photograph a famous landmark:

Get the cliché shot out of the way. You won’t feel right unless you do. So go ahead and photograph the Eiffel Tower the way you see it in your head when you close your eyes. Got the shot? Okay, now think of different ways you could photograph it and create your OWN iconic images of the same subject. Frame it with trees, look for its reflection in a window or a puddle, include it with the local architecture, shoot it as a silhouette, etc. The sky is the limit, you just have to train yourself to look for those unconventional frames.

Afraid that you are going to miss other opportunities while you are looking for different ways to see? Practice at home! Every town has its own iconic landmark, even yours. It may not be a grandiose building, but it doesn’t matter. Whether it is the local historic grain elevator, or the statue of a famous local politician, go out with your camera and see it for the first time again. Work your scene and find a creative way to frame it.

Don’t forget to include people in your frame. They add interest, life and movement to your images. They also add a sense of scale which works well when photographing massive buildings.

This simple exercise will change the way you see photographically. The more you practice, the quicker you will spot those interesting shots when you visit a new place. Your pictures will never be boring again!

Practice at home!  This historic grain elevator may not be grand but it is one of the landmarks in a small river town near my home.

Practice at home! This historic grain elevator may not be grand but it is one of the landmarks in a small river town near my home.

Think of a different way to photograph a famous landmark by including local architecture in the foreground for example.

Think of a different way to photograph a famous landmark by including local architecture in the foreground for example.

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Valerie Jardin I live and breathe in pixels! Photography is more than a passion, it's an obsession, almost an addiction. When I'm not shooting or writing, I spend my time teaching this beautiful craft during photo workshops all over the world! I am also thrilled to be an official X Photographer for Fujifilm USA. Visit my Website Follow me on Facebook , Twitter , Instagram. And listen to my Podcast!

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