Category Archives: How To

How to Take Great Travel Photos

Destination: Everywhere

Book: The Traveling Photographer: A Guide to Great Travel Photography by Sandra Petrowitz

Travel Photo from Rome

Ken in front of Trevi Fountain in Rome

What good is travel, if you don’t take travel photos to bring home?  And why settle for a shot of you and your significant other posing in front of some world-wide famous edifice, if you can try just a little harder and have a frameable picture? Why not use your travel photos to communicate?

Not that Sandra Petrowitz has anything against snapshots.  Her book The Traveling Photographer, includes the rationale for sometimes taking snapshots and guidance for those who have not ventured into SLR or DSLR. (If you don’t know what that means–I’m talking about you.)  In other words, you do not have to be a technical genius to benefit from this book since the emphasis is on seeing, composition, recognizing light conditions and avoiding common mistakes.

On the other hand, if you’re ready to move up a step, or have begun to experiment with more complicated equipment, you’ll find hints to help you, also.

So much of photography is in your mind. Petrowitz suggests that as you look at a scene, you go beyond just the shapes and the colors to the emotions it evokes. How do you translate those feelings into the photo you are taking?

Lonely Road, Oregon

Lonely Road, Oregon


How do you find a unique way to show what you’re thinking and feeling?

Travel Photo, nature trail in Tennessee

Leaves on Sugarlands nature trail, Great Smoky Mountains Tennessee

The tips I need most of all–how to approach and photograph people.

Can I play it mister?

Can I play it mister?, New Orleans, Louisiana

Do you experiment with something other than a horizontal viewpoint? Shoot from above or below?

Travel Photo: New Orleans

Street dancing New Orleans outside Monteleone Hotel

Does fog or rain stop you in your tracks?

Travel Photo: Chicago Fog

Chicago Fog


Take Travel Photos

My examples of travel photos are a poor substitute for the many terrific illustrations in The Traveling Photographer, but I’m re-reading this book and trying to improve my work. I’d like to increase the percentage of interesting images that I produce compared to the boring ones. In other words, do as I read, not as I do.

It is too easy with a digital camera to think, oh well it isn’t costing anything to keep snapping. But Petrowitz points out that there IS a cost.  It takes an inordinate amount of time to plow through all those bad photos looking for a gem or two.  Why not spend that time in advance and get the good shot to start out with?

To see another example of my practicing some basic principles in photography, see my Travel Thursday post on at trip to  northern Arizona’s White Mountains.

Read About Travel Photos

Besides telling you how to shoot good travel photos, The Traveling Photographer includes helpful information on buying equipment, keeping it safe, storing all those photos, and some suggested extra reading if you want to go further. I highly this book from Rocky Nook, a company that publishes a lot of photo how-to books–mostly for advanced photographers.

Take a Class in Travel Photos

Donna L. Hull at My Itchy Travel Feet is an advocate of taking a trip to a travel photography workshop where you get first-hand advice from a pro.  Would you like to learn from Sandra Petrowitz in person? Check that website link, or follow her on Facebook.


Note: There are links to Amazon above to make it easier for you to go directly to Amazon and order a copy of The Traveling Photographer or any other thing that strikes your fancy.  It costs you no more to shop through my links, but you help keep the wolves from the Library door. THANKS!

Perfect Day of Time Travel in Tucson Arizona

Tucson Sky, 2011

Tucson Sky

Sometimes your perfect city lies right outside your door. That can be true whether you’re staying at home or you are taking advantage of a slow travel option like house sitting or home swapping. ( If you’re new to house sitting, click here to visit Hecktic Travels.) Home swapping is another fast-growing option that we’re considering  for a future trip, and that is why we agreed to do this article for, the home swapping people.

We think everyone should put Tucson Arizona on their list of places to see some time in their life. Why? Let’s say you have decided to visit one of the oldest cities in the United States to soak up some historic ambiance and you love the great outdoors. And did you want a city with excellent dining choices and lots of cultural activities?  That’s Tucson. Continue reading

How To: Make a Photo Book

Destination: Wherever you roam

Book: Create Your Own Photo Book: Design a Stunning Portfolio, Make a Bookstore-Quality Book (NEW 2012) by Petra Vogt

You travel. You take pictures. You come home. What happens to the photographs? Continue reading