Thursday, September 20, 2012

Travel Photography Tips and Tricks

Kelly from Pine to the Pacific is a girl after my own heart. She always seems to be exploring her city, hanging out with fabulous friends, taking beautiful photos or enjoying bottomless mimosas.

Hi SoHo readers! My name is Kelly, and I blog about life in San Francisco at Pine to the Pacific. My passions are definitely photography and travel, so I thought I’d share some tried and true tips for capturing great photos while on vacation!

For blue skies, shoot with the sun at your back.
Ever wonder why a gorgeous day turns into a weird white sky when you try to
capture the scenery? That happens when you aim your lens toward the sun! If you
shoot with the sun at your back, that sky will look bright blue and make your photos

Turn off your flash.
The instinct can often be to keep you flash on when you're in dim light, but that can
completely wipe out the mood of a photo. Travel photos are especially important for
capturing ambiance, since the goal is to transport you right back to that feeling! In
nighttime or low light situations, turn up your ISO as high as it can go, lower your
shutter speed, and keep a steady hand. Your photos will glow!

Set the scene from afar.
As fun as it is to get close ups of friends and scenery, sometimes the most
memorable photos come from when you can get to a high (or faraway) vantage
point and grab some epic scenery photos. If I'm in a situation that involves steep
hills, a million steps (ugh) or hey, even a gondola, you can bet I'm making my way
to the top to get some sweeping views. These always end up as some of my favorite

Don’t be afraid to go for (or ask for) the shot you want.
Was I nervous to get in the donkey’s face for the photo below? Kinda! (and then I
rode one…all bets were off!) I never hesitate to ask my friends to snap a quick photo
of their food if it's something interesting and beautiful - though it's silly, in the grand
scheme of things it's one photo and can be a great memory! And most importantly,
what do you do if you want to photograph – but NOT buy – some local goods? I
simply ask the shopkeeper if it’s allowed. Sometimes they will say no, and that’s
ok, since it saved a potentially awkward situation. But most of the time people are
happy to let you take home a photograph of something lovely.

And finally, when blogging your photos – put them together!
I love making collages of interesting photos that might not ordinarily go side by side.
It adds a lot of interest and helps create a little vignette.

Thanks for reading! Hope these tips might help out on your next adventure. :) And thanks for having me, Natalie!


  1. Hey there!
    Loved your tips. I love photography and is one of the topics I want to have in my blog :)
    I'm going to use some of your tips and,refer to your blog - your weekends in pictures and to die for :)



  2. Kelly,
    Thank you for these tips! I especially found the tip for shooting without the flash useful. That darn flash sometimes makes it seem like you're trying too hard.

  3. great tips!

  4. beautifiul photos!! i agree... if you have a camera that lets you easily change the ISO and shutter speed, there's really no need for a flash, it makes photos look SO bad anyways...

  5. Awesome easy tips! Thanks :)
    -Michelle {LiveLoudly}

  6. thanks for featuring me, natalie! and loving "meeting" everyone else, thanks for such nice comments!



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