I have been experimenting for a while now with travel photography, and every time I go away I take hundreds of pictures. The most I ever took on a trip were 900+ pictures on my trip last year to Spain! After that experience I realized that almost 1000 pictures was a bit much and it took me a very long time to sort out my images.
Since then I have become more discerning, and I no longer snap away at everything that moves (or everything that’s stationary as well). But I still end up with a few hundred pictures after each and every one of my getaways. Fortunately, digital photography has made taking pictures easy, and the good thing is you can snap away and if you don’t like the picture, you just erase it. (But make sure you don’t erase the whole memory card, as my husband did after a fabulous first-time exploration of Paris….)
I am not much of a technical photographer (yet), I really rely very much on my camera’s basic all-round settings. The only thing I have experimented with recently is macro (close-up) photography with the help of my brother-in-law. I try to follow some basic photography rules, such as getting closer to my subject, adding depth to landscape shots by placing people, trees or animals in the foreground, keeping the camera steady, or putting the sun behind me. Other than that I pretty much just try to frame the shot, pull the trigger and see what happens.
Last year I even tried to experiment using people as subjects for my photos. On the island of Ibiza I saw a really interesting family of Gypsies – 3 generations including grandmother, a young couple and their grandchild – and I asked in the politest Spanish that I could muster, whether I would be able to take a picture of them. What came next totally surprised me: the older woman started cursing me out and shook her fist at me. It took me a couple of seconds to realize she was serious, and ever since that time I have become quite shy when it comes to taking pictures of strangers.
That shouldn’t deter you though. To help you improve your travel photography there are a large number of great resources on the web. Discussions cover topics such as whether to use regular film or digital photography, the types of subjects you can cover (animals, people, landscapes, architecture, plants, sports, aerial shots, underwater shots, etc.), techniques, techincal jargon and many more. In the end it doesn’t much matter, as long as you get out there and have fun while you document your travel experiences.