Photography 101: Avoiding the Same-Old, Same-Old Tourist Photos

It’s taken me a while to realise that taking the same sort of photos of major tourist attractions that you’d find on Google isn’t exactly the most productive use of your camera while abroad, and photography regret is a real thing.

Here are my tips and tricks to get some Pinterest-worthy snaps of landmarks you’ve seen a million times before on the Internet:

  • Aim for sunrise or sunset – yessssss I know it’s hard to wake up on those early mornings, but the views (and photos) without hundreds of tourists crowding your photos is a one in a million experience. Granted, at sunset you’ll be fighting the crowds a little more, but the colours of the skies just cannot be beaten.
SUNRISE
Taronga Zoo, Sydney 2017

Get low, low, low (or high) – angles are everything, and we all know the standard tourist shot is simply a point-and-shoot at eye level. But to get something a dash more spectacular, get low (or high if you can) and fill the frame with the landmark or else create an entirely new perspective

SUNRISE4
Houses of Parliament, London 2015

You don’t need to re-invent the wheel – every shot has been done by someone at some point with some camera BUT that doesn’t mean it’s been done well or with your own spin on it. Take Millennium Bridge in London, for instance. Everyone’s taken the shot of St. Paul’s rising from the modern bridge in the foreground, but have you taken it just after the rain has fallen, when reflections are at their all-time best

SUNRISE3
Millennium Bridge, London 2017

Include some context – we’re talking big red buses amidst photographs of Westminster Abbey, just to get a flavour for what else is going on and the culture of the place, because at the end of the day, you’re there to experience it all!

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Trafalgar Square, London 2015

Night-time really does change everything – some people are scared of photographing landmarks at night because, well, we’ve all been there where the photo comes out unfocused or the lights are too exposed in a certain area and drown everything else out. But take your time, learn about your camera settings, and practice, practice, practice

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Opera House, Sydney 2017

At the end of the day, photos during travel are more (in my opinion, anyway) for memories and keepsakes rather than needing to be so perfect they could be hanging in the Tate Modern! But it’s always nice to look back and see your own stamp on photos of landmarks that have been taken again and again xx

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