In this piece, Steven Chikosi, a photographer, filmmaker, visual storyteller and top Instagrammer based in Zimbabwe provides tips on how to capture the best moments of your trip:
Travel Pictures are a great way of capturing moments and can serve as a personal diary. I have been very fortunate to travel around the continent as I cover different documentary assignments for my various clients. On my way to cover different assignments and in-between them, I am a travel photographer! Here are a few tips I have picked along the way.
Research the Location
It’s all about doing your research beforehand and once you get on location, find out when is the place less busy, what is the best place to shoot from to get the best views, what is the best time of the day to shoot. What kind of photos do visitors mostly get from the area and if you are like me, challenge yourself on how to get something different, your unique twist.
Get Permissions, Safety tips and Access
Make sure you are allowed to shoot there. Also, make sure it is safe to take photographs. Remember No photograph is worth risking your life for. Adding a human element is key to making your travel images relatable but make sure you have permission to do so. I find a good opener for asking to photograph someone is asking them to photograph you first!
Take the Right Gear
When it comes to cameras, thanks to technology you can carry around a small mirrorless camera with features comparatively similar to bulkier cameras and not be too conspicuous while at it. Sometimes, having huge cameras attracts unnecessary attention. Go Wide! A very wide lens will be handy for most of your travel work but occasionally a zoom lens will be required. What I always find to be a good compromise is a lens that can go very wide and zoom in considerably well. During your travel, you do not want to change lenses every now and again as you may have a dusty sensor before your trip is over. Carry gear that allows you to travel light. Your gear should be able to fit in your hand luggage if you are travelling by air as this ensures its safety too.
Don’t forget to savour the moment then take note
Sometimes I find we are caught up in the buzz of wanting to capture instead of enjoying a moment. It helps sometimes to take in the beauty of a place first, appreciate it. Then pull out your camera later! A notebook is handy to capture some stories from the place you have photographed, the date and times. You can take note of how you felt, the individuals you met there or any standout thing that happened or simply a little history of the place. Travel photos with stories allow for more engagement with your audience.
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