Travel photography is one of the most popular ways to express your creativity and personal perceptions of a country while you are exploring it. Travel photography is practiced by everyone from casual tourists snapping holiday pictures to seasoned professionals who make their living from it.
Travel photography is based on documenting and capturing the people, landscapes, culture and customs of different countries around the world. However, a top quality travel photo does more than just depict the sights and scenes of interest in far away places.
The best travel photos are brimming with powerful narratives and can really immerse the viewer into the life and culture of the people and places in the images. Truly good travel photography will transport the audience into the scenes and give them a genuine insight into the lives of people in foreign countries.
Travel photography has helped to bring the world closer together by overcoming cultural and linguistic barriers to portray the shared humanity of people all over the world. It’s also great fun to do yourself and there’s no limit to the creative experimentation you try out in your own travel photography.
Why Is Italy Great For Travel Photography?
Italy is a hugely diverse country that has a little bit of everything! From picture perfect Southern Mediterranean beaches and coastlines to the spectacular Alpine scenery of the Northern provinces, from chic cities to rural olive groves and colorful towns bursting with authentic Italian personality – it really is every travel photographer’s dream come true!
If you’re not a confident photographer or would like some practical, hands on advice then you can book yourself onto a guided photography holiday tour in Italy. This will allow you to meet other people who are interested in photography and you’ll benefit from the local knowledge of the tour guide who will show you the most picturesque spots in the region.
There are many photography tour providers to choose from in Italy. Some specialize in providing tours in a specific province or city while others run tours all over the country.
Flavours Holidays run inspiring and authentic week long photography holidays in Tuscany, Puglia and Sicily. The holidays are suitable for solo travellers as well as couples and families. While you’re on a photography holiday with Flavours Holidays you’ll be able to benefit from expert tuition as you explore the stunning landscapes and scenery of Italy.
Which Are The Best Places In Italy for Travel Photography?
Italy offers photographers some of the most beautiful landscapes and stunning cities in the world and no matter where you are you’ll find an endless stream of wonderful photo opportunities. However, there are a few locations that really stand out and so if you’re considering travel photography in Italy they should certainly be on your itinerary.
The Top 3 Italian Cities For Travel Photography.
- Venice. For pure magic, romance and elegance it’s hard to beat the waterfront city of Venice. As one of the most iconic cities on the planet you can take incredible travel photos of the Renaissance architecture, winding canals and the cafe life of the bustling piazzas.
- Rome. The Eternal City of Rome is so steeped in history that it has sights and scenes that stretch back for thousands of years. You can walk from district to district, or jump on the public transport, to tour around the city shooting unforgettable travel photos.
- Florence. Centered around the River Arno and its bridges, the Santa Maria Del Fiore and the busy markets you can explore the parks, museums and street life of Florence with your camera in hand. As the capital of Tuscany and the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance it’s the perfect place for a travel photographer. So, whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting out with your camera you can’t afford to miss out on Florence.
The Top 3 Italian Landscapes For Travel Photography.
- Tuscany. The rolling pastoral farmlands of Tuscany are dotted with ancient hillfort towns that come together to produce some of the best loved landscapes in Italy. Just around every corner is a picture perfect scene waiting to be shot so make sure you include Tuscany on your travel photography bucket list.
- The Dolomites. The snowy mountain peaks of Northern Italy are fantastically contrasted with the deep forested valleys, making it a top choice for travel and landscape photography. The region and its towns have a distinctly Germanic feel which is unique in Italy and will give you some incredible opportunities to shoot breathtaking photos during your visit.
- Cinque Terre. This beautiful area is made up of 5 charming fishing villages that hug the Mediterranean coastline. Surrounded by olive groves, steep rocky slopes and amazing sea views; the brightly colored landscape is ideal for powerful travel photography.
Important Tips For Travel Photography In Italy.
Of course, you’ll have to travel and see the world to take some interesting travel photos but there’s much more to it than simply snapping a few pictures while you’re overseas. Travel photography is a real artform that you can continue to improve and work on even if you’re an experienced photographer.
Naturally, it helps to be in beautiful or unusual places but there’s a few tips that you should keep in mind to make the most of the opportunities that are afforded to you, wherever you are on your travels.
Get To Know Your Camera.
One of the first things that you need to do before you can start taking powerful travel photos is to get to know your camera and the different settings you can make use of. If you fail to take the time to properly learn your way around your camera you can find yourself being frustrated and missing out on the opportunities you see around you. Each make and model of camera has a slightly different range of settings and functions which can be used to create the images that you’re envisioning. Whether you are in the busy streets of Naples or rural Sicily, your focus should be on capturing the scene in front of you rather than trying to figure out how the camera settings work.
Learn About Composition To Supercharge Your Photography.
When you’re taking travel photos even a fantastic scene can be spoiled if the composition is poorly thought out. Learning about the essentials of composition will instantly take your work to another level while giving you more confidence to experiment and think outside the box.
One of the most useful compositional techniques that you can immediately start to make use of today is the Rule of Thirds. To use the Rule of Thirds you just need to imagine that the frame is divided up into a grid of 3×3. Once you have pictured this you can start to place subjects and points of interest within the image on the intersections of the imaginary grid.
Using this technique will give your photos a well balanced and harmonious feeling to your viewers. Many digital cameras also have a ‘Grid’ function which will overlay a 3×3 grid on your LCD screen to help you position subjects in the image.
Another great technique you can use is called Leading Lines. A leading line is a natural line within the image that you can use to guide, or ‘lead’ your viewer’s gaze through the image. For example, you can use a train track, path or river to guide your viewer’s gaze through the image to a point of interest in the background! This will give your photos a sense of narrative and a nice visual flow.
There’s a whole range of other compositional principles that you can start to make use of but even with a few basics under your belt you’ll quickly see your photography becoming more impactful, professional and memorable. Your photos of Italy will look very different, once you understand the basics of composition.
Do Your Research And Scout Out Locations In Advance.
It’s not always possible but where you can you should try to scout out the locations you plan to shoot at. There’s several reasons for this. Firstly, you’ll be able to get a sense of the place and come up with ideas for your future photoshoot. Secondly, you can visit the same place in different weathers and at different times of day to get a nice series of photos for your audience.
If visiting the location several times is not possible you can still make use of tools such as Google Maps to get a rough idea of the types of photos you might want to focus on. Google Maps also allows you to see other people’s photos of famous sites like the Vatican, which you can use for inspiration and guidance in your own work.
In your research you should try to find out about the weather conditions you’re likely to face so that you can not only dress appropriately but you can ensure that your camera is safe in the case of rain or bad weather during your planned photoshoot.
Travel Light When Shooting Travel Photos.
The last thing you want when you’re out taking travel photos is to be loaded down by a huge bag full of things you don’t really need! Always try to keep your bag light and the equipment you take with you to a bare minimum. This is very important if you are interested in street photography in Italy.
Travelling light will make your photoshoots more enjoyable and allow you to move around a location with more freedom and ease. This will save you energy and let you stay on site for longer periods of time during your shoot without getting tired by an over-heavy bag full of unnecessary equipment.
Start Early And Finish Late.
One of the best times of day to shoot travel photos is during the Golden Hour. The Golden Hour happens twice a day, once in the first hour of sunrise and then again at the end of day during sunset. At these times of day the light is softer and mellow with warm orangey hues that are flattering to the people in your shots and lovely in landscapes or architectural photos.
At the other end of the spectrum the sunlight at midday tends to be harsh and unforgiving. This means if you don’t know how to use the stark light and strong shadows your photos can become over exposed and blown out.
The other great reason to visit popular sites early in the morning or later in the evening is because you’re more likely to have the place to yourself (there are millions of tourists and expats in Italy)! During the middle of the day most tourist sites will be packed with groups and tours that can ruin your photos and will make it harder to move around the location without people getting in your line of sight.
One of my favorite things to do in Rome is to sit in front of the Pantheon (Piazza della Rotonda) and enjoy photographing the sunset.
Don’t Forget To Pack Spares.
It may sound obvious but you’d be surprised how many people forget to pack spare batteries, memory cards and other essentials before heading out on a photoshoot. Finding yourself out on location only to discover your camera is out of battery and you forgot the spares is a nightmare that you can easily avoid with some good preparation. Also remember batteries, memory cards, lenses etc. are also much more expensive in Italy that it is in the United States.
Try to get into the habit of charging your batteries the night before in the hotel and then double check your bag before you leave in the morning to make sure you’ve got extra batteries and memory cards with you. Don’t forget that batteries run out much faster in cold weather climates so it’s even more important to take a couple of spares with you in freezing weather or Alpine regions.
Italy Is The World’s Number One Destination For Travel Photography.
When it comes to travel photography, nowhere is more diverse and exciting than Italy. There’s everything from superb rural scenery to ancient cities to explore with your camera.
If you’re just starting out with your travel photography then you should keep the basics in mind and practise using your camera in manual mode. For budding photographers there are also guided photography holiday tours that you can join to get some hands-on help with the technical aspects of shooting top quality travel photos.