Reader Assignment: 10 Tips to Make Better Travel Photos

By David H. Wells Back to


Here are some ideas to help you make better travel photographs:

1. Arrive early, stay late! The best parts of many events often happen before or after the main event.

2. Ask yourself, why am I taking pictures? Do your photos record a mood, hold a good memory, or simply as a marker of your presence?

3. “Work” the situations. When I am working, I may only photograph a few situations but I work those in many different ways till the image says just what I want.

4. What is the best position or angle? I often try to get low down like a dog or to photograph from above, like a giraffe. Both perspectives give the viewer a very different experience.

5. Notice the quality and direction of the light? Where is the light coming from, what can I do to use that light by changing my position, lens, etc.? Strive to remember the importance of detail shots to add to the story.

6.Vary lens. Consider all the photographic tools available to you, such as different lenses.

7. The drama of silhouettes makes for a powerful photograph. Use them to create highly graphic images that give the viewer a more dramatic perspective on the place and simplify that down to a few elements.

8. Can I capture a sense of time? Use a high shutter speed to stop the action, a slow shutter speed to pan with a moving object or to fix the camera in one place and let the activity blur by the camera.

9. Keep an eye on the background. Backgrounds make or break your images. Keep it “clean” and watch your corners!

10. Put it all together to get “the moment.” The best travel photos exhibit two or more of the points above. Enjoy the journey and try to make travel images that convey the joy, humor, irony or pathos that you experience when you travel to other places.

For this issue’s discounted review through Fotofeed- back, submit images that create a desire in the viewer to experience the place, culture, food or thing (or to meet the person) shown in the image. I will personally review the images tell you which ones work and why, or suggest how to make them better. I do this through the cutting edge technology of Fotofeedback where you can hear and read feedback on your images from some of the world’s greatest photographers.

photo technique and Fotofeedback ( have teamed up to offer subscribers a discount on an individual portfolio review by David H. Wells based on the assignment TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY. Subscribers can get a $39 Snap photo review for $10! Look for the special code that begins with PTFF on your mailing label. Digital subscribers will find their code on the email that announces your digital issue. Not a subscriber? Subscribe today at! After you make the images, visit Reviews to participate in the review process. The code is only applicable to this particular assignment. Select reader reviews (written and audio) with the photographers permission, may be featured on the phototechmag. com website.

About the Author

David H. Wells
David H. Wells is a freelance documentary photographer affiliated with Aurora Photos. See his work at: He specializes in intercultural communications and the use of light and shadow to enhance visual narratives. Twice awarded Fulbright fellowships for work in India, his photography regularly appears in leading international magazines. A frequent teacher of photography workshops, his blog, The Wells Point, appears at As an Olympus Visionary, Wells has been contracted by the camera company to produce images and provide feedback on new product lines.