Tag Archives: travel photos

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!

Cambodia: Search for Lost Treasure

Book Cover: Hidden Treasure in Cambodia
Paperback Cover
Book Cover: Lost Treasure in Cambodia
Hardback Cover


Destination: Shanghai, Vietnam, Cambodia

Book: The Map of Lost Memories by Kim Fay NEW, May 2013 in paperback, originally published in 2012

Kim Fay is the third of the quartet of mystery writers I met at the Tucson Festival of Books. (I previously wrote about Becky Masterman’s book set in Tucson and Jenn McKinlay’s cupcake mysteries set in Scottsdale.)

I was very excited to hear that Kim Fay, who has lived in Southeast Asia for long periods of time, had written a book about a search for hidden treasures in a Cambodian temple.  If you are a regular here, you know how much I loved Cambodia when I visited there. I’ve posted a review of an outstanding memoir , guidebook reviews and temple art photos from that trip.

Thrity Umrigor, Kim Fay and Susan Vreeland
Thrity Umrigor (The World We Found), Kim Fay (The Map of Lost Memories) and Susan Vreeland. (I read her The Passion of Artemisia about a rare woman painter in Baroque Italy. Her latest is Clara and Mr. Tiffany.)

Although Kim Fay published The Map of Lost Memories in 2012, the paperback version comes out this month. Which cover do you like best? Continue reading Cambodia: Search for Lost Treasure

President Andrew Jackson’s Home:The Hermitage in Nashville

If any president of the United States were actually born in a log cabin, it should have been Andrew Jackson. And that was the story. Alas,  the story is untrue.  You will learn about that, and how many slaves he owned, that he had a pretty fancy house on 1120 acres. You’ll learn more fascinating stuff about Andrew Jackson when you visit The Hermitage, the Jackson home near Nashville, Tennessee. Yes, there was a log cabin. Yes he did once live in it. The family had to retreat to a log cabin while they waited for their house to be rebuilt after it burned in 1837. Continue reading President Andrew Jackson’s Home:The Hermitage in Nashville