Travel Photography Tips
Kevin Michael Connolly is not only an X-Games skier, world traveler and intrepid adrenaline junkie, but he’s also a photographer whose work has been featured at the Kennedy Center and in Outside Magazine. He offers his tips on how to capture unique, interesting and impressive photos during your next getaway.
1. There is no perfect picture.
2. Composition is more than just the rule of thirds.
3. Get low and close.
Robert Capa, arguably the most famous war photographer of the 20th century, said, “If your photographs aren't good enough, you're not close enough.” And if you look at some of his photographs, it shows. Not only do you give yourself more options when it comes to photographing different aspects of a situation, but you also involve yourself in the experience at hand. That feeling of being “in the moment” is what many of the best photojournalists strive to capture, and is pretty hard to get when shooting with a zoom lens from the side of the road.
4. Let people get comfortable with the camera.
5. Limit yourself.
Instead, start small. Learn and focus on only using 1 camera without filters or extra lenses. When I was shooting The Rolling Exhibition, the only way in which I was able photograph people as I did was by shooting surreptitiously from the hip. To do this, I had to know what my lens would be capturing without being able to look through the viewfinder. Practice and commitment to only 1 focal length allowed me to quickly shoot moments that would have otherwise slipped past my lens.
6. Find a unique point-of-view.
7. Again – find a unique point of view.
The second interpretation of this tip is a bit more difficult. Find a point-of-view that has yet to be shown in the world. Read the winner’s page on the Pulitzer Prize’s website, and you’ll see the description under each recipient reflects a voice that isn’t typically heard. Dallas Kinney won the prize in 1970 for a unique series depicting Florida migrant workers. Matt Ranney won in 2005 for “the care and recovery of two students critically burned in a dormitory fire at Seton Hall University.” What all the finalists have in common is that they show the lives and voices of people we don’t often see. Finding those are hard, and it often involves going where others are uncomfortable – or unwilling – to go. Which brings me to my final tip…