Getting started with Travel Photography? Here Are Top 8 Tips From The Expert

Photography is an art. An art that captures moments and tells stories that cross boundaries, cultures and people.

Everyone is already a photographer in today’s world. Highly efficient camera phones mean that almost all of us can click. So, what is it that separates the genius from the crowd? What are the secrets, experiences and mistakes of the most amazing travel photographers that make them who they are. And how can we get a little bit closer to them?

dan houde photography remote life

To learn a bit more about this form of art that most us think we can master, we talked to Dan Houde to share some of his behind the scenes insights and give tips for those of us looking to learn and improve our photography skills.

The top 8 frequently asked questions about travel photography, straight from the expert:

1. What is the best time of day to take a picture?

There’s never a bad time to take a shot but by shooting around sunrise, sunset, and before or after storms, you increase your chances of capturing a money shot.”

2. Should I learn the photography skills professionally or learn on the go through trial and error?

One has to balance this – It is important that you passionately learn about photography. Learn about the nuances of covering angles, lights, and other hacks. Frankly, no one can do this for you. You must do it yourself.

Read, watch videos, go to seminars, take photo workshops, and shoot with others as much as possible. While doing this go out and shoot as frequently as possible on your own to experiment.

3. How to choose the best location for a portrait?

Capture the best view by creating interesting elements or layers in your photography. If there’s a beautiful sunset developing find something to put in the foreground – an old tree, and interesting structure, or something with texture. It’s always best to plan ahead. For example, find the interesting foreground element first then add the sunrise or sunset.

wise guy photography remote life

4. Any tips for street photography and how to take photos of people?

Don’t over complicate things with unnecessary explanations of “how to look” when capturing moments. Create situations for them to behave as naturally as possibly. What works with kids works with adults.

Learn how to say “Hello” in the local Language, and greet the locals when clicking their photograph.

Ask for their permission. Being polite to them will help you leverage the best opportunities without any conflict.


Become The Remote Life Travel Community Member

5. How to capture your imagination with photography?

Photography is not merely an execution of techniques. Get in touch with the place you are in. Get off the often taken routes and venture into places left unexplored.

Make it your mission to find and capture the untrodden path. Create a list of areas of interest and note special features such as the direction they face. Once you find the scene you hope to capture, compose different angles which will add layers to your photo. Then return when the lighting is most interesting to get the “money” shot.

 Dan is the winner of the

 Top Travel Photographers of 2017 contest.

dan houde photographs remote life
Dan houde photographs remote life

6. How to choose the camera & lens for travel photography?

For my needs personally the brand makes no difference. I use both fx and dx bodies mostly being careful that I have enough resolution for each purpose. Wide angle vs telephoto options are always important as is the speed of the lens. A lightweight and heavy duty tripod is essential depending on how your getting to your location.

I hike, climb or ski to my spots so I go with a lightweight more often. Filters, esp around water and during fall foliage are key. A good solid hiking bag with heavy duty zippers is essential. Adobe Lightroom processes RAW images better than most anything else, in my opinion. Again, each photographic goal will dictate additional equipment needs.

 7. Can you mentor budding photographers and take online photography workshops?

Yes, I do offer workshops. The natural ability to compose and see potential images is important and difficult to teach. Students need to be willing to use manual camera settings, shoot in RAW, and shoot often.

Wiseguy Creative remote life

8. Advice on how to take professional travel photos?

Art is not a race. Take time to capture the best looks. Experiment with the modes of transportation. Buses, trains, carts, bicycles, etc. will let your eyes taste the local flavors. Do not try to pack it all in, give yourself the time to learn and grow. Sometimes, leave the tool of your choice- the camera behind. Just look without the impulse to capture anything. Just look, you can always come back with your camera.

Still here? Check these hacks for capturing great pictures using your camera phone:

  1. Shoot low to the ground or up high to capture unique angles.
  2. Use grid lines to balance your shot.
  3. Pay attention to detail and experiment with colors and filters.
  4. Anchor scenic landscapes with foreground elements.
  5. Use photo editing apps like: Photoshop Express and Pixlr  
  6. For filters, you can try Snapseed, VSCO Cam and Spotliter
  7. Use third party camera apps like Camera+ (iOS) and ProCapture Free (Android).
  8. Specialized functions include Slow Shutter Cam (iOS), Night Cam and Pro HDR (iOS, Android).

About Dan Houde

Dan Houde of Wiseguy Creative Photography is an accomplished and published photographer with a 20-year marketing career rooted in the tourism and hospitality industry of Northern New England.

Houde sets out weekly to capture the scenic landscapes and unique recreational opportunities which visitors from all over the world come to experience.

In addition to being a contracted photographer for the Mt Washington Valley and Jackson Chambers of Commerce, Dan also teaches outdoor photography workshops.

  • Cat says:

    I’m looking to enhance my photography skills and those are all awesome tips! I always try to shoot at sunrise/sunset, but I should experiment with different lighting situations! I agree that photography is not a race, but an art!

  • Beautiful pictures and great tips from the expert. Saying hello to strangers is something I do regularly. most of my stories come from those hellos.

  • Thank you for the tips! We are looking to improve our people shots. We love shooting at sunset with the golden glow.

  • Alice Chen says:

    Really great tips! The photos are absolutely gorgeous, and I love the tips about learning “Hello” in the local language for photos of locals!

  • Maria says:

    As a beginner photographer i found this article super inspiring and helpful!
    Great tips – especially the ones for camera phone!

  • Leah says:

    Great post! The pictures look stunning and you have a beautiful family! Looks like a great trip!

  • Great tips – I have just purchased my first digital SLR so reading as much as I can while experimenting with the camera – love all these photographs! I am still learning what all the terms mean but finding it all super interesting!

  • Shreshtha Vemra says:

    Great tips to get started with this new emergent profession. Being a photography student I found this very helpful.

  • samreen says:

    Simply awesome !
    fabulous tips for enhancing ones skills and a great post too the pictures look mesmerizing.

  • Yukta Garg says:

    Photography is spreading these days like an epidemic as everyone holds a smartphone with a decent camera and has an urge to click. But, everyone isnt a born photographer. These tips are awesome for amateurs. One can sit at home and try these and get great results. Looking for more of such tips in near future..!

  • Pranav says:

    Clubing everything he simply wanted to say that be natural,imaginative, curious, broad minded and most importantly have patience .Thankyou so much for giving a quick and short mantra for enhancing the photography skills .

  • Sanjana Pedada says:

    Interesting clicks and great tips. I could totally relate! As you quoted, “Art is not a race. Take time to capture the best looks.” One of the most inspiring lines I heard, I do believe patience is one big quality a photographer needs.

  • Varun Sudhakaran says:

    The one thing that puts everyone seeking to step into photography in a great dilemma is that everyone owns cameras nowadays. Photography has become rather a lifestyle than a hobby. Dan Houde has inspiringly reminded us in this interview that art is not a race. Rather one finds growth in this field with patience and life. Also, the tips are great for a beginner. The timings for ‘money shots’ and adobe lightroom being the best processor for raw images. I am indebted. The article has been both factual and philosophical. Thanks a lot.

  • Aakash Aggarwal says:

    Really great tips! It really helped me a lot during my trip.

  • Vismaya Chandran says:

    Incredible tips which i am sure will help to improve my photography skills. I always go by the principle that any snap shot must be as natural as possible.Elements to start with the foreground and further must be appealing to your eyes. Ultimately any photograph clicked must speak for itself.

  • Shubham Saxena says:

    A beautiful blog with perfect blend of photography tips and ideas for the beginners and passionate people who are passionate about photography. A perfect message that a photography is not about only high defination cameras it should be a perfect mixture of time, angle, beauty and perfect shutter-buck.
    This blog is most suitable for the perfect click!!

  • Shubham Saxena says:

    A beautiful Blog!! A perfect blend of tips and ideas for a perfect click. Photography is the most upcoming and emerging futuristic option for the passionate photographers. This beautiful blog can turn a photographer into a professional photographer. This blogs gives the most practical ideas and tips which a upcoming photographer can a follow!

  • Shubham Saxena says:

    A beautiful Blog!! A perfect blend of tips and ideas for a perfect click. This beautiful blog can turn a photographer into a professional photographer. This blogs gives the most practical ideas and tips which a upcoming photographer can a follow!

  • Shubham Saxena says:

    A beautiful Blog!! A perfect blend of tips and ideas for a perfect click. This beautiful blog can turn a photographer into a professional photographer. This blogs gives the most practical ideas and tips which a upcoming photographer can a follow!
    An exciting and interesting blog!

  • Olivia Green says:

    Great article!
    I’ve been a travelling a lot and plan on doing so for the rest of my life. I’d love to learn the basics of photography to enhance my skills. How can I sign up for the Workshops?
    Also, is 18-55mm lens enough for landscapes or should I go for a wide angle lens?