Travel is an encouraging and enlightening pastime that creates many memories to hold for a lifetime.
It takes you to see sights you otherwise wouldn’t see, to have experiences that few get to enjoy. Often, it can be a week, ten days, or a month of solid memories all in a single go. With such a lot happening and so many places to visit, you could be forgiven for forgetting one or two of the places you have been. That’s why travel photography is so important.
Travelers seek to find the right balance between capturing images of where they’ve been to last as memories but not hiding behind a camera whilst the world passes them by. It’s not always easy, and that is why travel photography can be so tricky. One doesn’t want to be hidden behind a lens, but at the same time, you don’t want your magical trip to disappear into a blur
You must select the right camera for your trip, striking the perfect balance between practicality and image quality. There are cameras and travel photography accessories of all types you can choose these days. They go from a top of the range DSLR to instant cameras and even those on your other digital devices. Which should you choose for your next trip?
We’ve taken three of the most popular camera types available today to help you choose.
The obvious choice for your next trip is your phone camera. Modern smartphones have a great camera on them, and something like the iPhone 13 Pro is a superb choice. Its camera has a multitude of great options, such as a macro lens, which opens possibilities some standard cameras may not.
There is a huge pitfall with your phone camera: social media. If you’re traveling, it is good practice not to hide behind a lens and not constantly update your friends and followers. Taking shots on a camera can lead to Instagram or Facebook, and before you know it, you’re living your online life as normal, just in a different part of the world.
A phone camera is great for multiple photos, ease of use and convenience, but it is a gateway to social media, which you should avoid.
There’s no doubt a good DSLR camera is a great option for budding travel photographers, especially if you’re visiting places with the intention of taking photos. However, there is a wide selection of digital SLR cameras available to buy, which can be baffling for a newcomer to the market. Nikon and Canon tend to be popular, with the Canon EOS Rebel T7 a solid choice, coming in at a reasonable $500. Remember, on top of that price, you’ll need to factor in a lens or two, perhaps a carry case, an extra battery and maybe a tripod.
Therein lies the problem with a DSLR. They’re great for a city break or regular short-haul travelers, but they can be costly, with just the camera body often running to four figures. If you’re going on a long trek, you’ll need to think about power and carrying the equipment, which can take a bag all of its own. A DSLR is brilliant for someone with a base in a city, where it can occasionally be left, but if you’re trekking or looking to travel light, you might steer clear.
Like vinyl records and DVDs, film cameras feel like a thing of the past, but they are still popular with travelers. They might take the form of an instant camera such as a Polaroid SX 70 or be a more traditional film camera as was common thirty years ago. They are limited; you can only take 24 or 36 photos depending on the film, so why are they popular?
Firstly, they are lower cost, so if you happen to fall foul of a crime, your economic loss is not so great. They tend to be fairly robust, so dropping it as you trek a Himalayan path won’t leave you with a bill the size of Everest. They also make you think about the shot; you have to look at your subject and compose the shot. Rather than pointing and clicking, you tend to observe what you’re taking a photo of, which alone puts you in the moment, rather than absent-mindedly bashing a button. Perhaps, that’s the essence of travel photography defined, still being there even behind a lens.
Of course, there is extra cost involved in processing the pictures, and quality isn’t guaranteed, but there’s no perfect way to do travel photography, only different options with various pros and cons.