Three Ways Travel Photography Can Make You a Better Photographer | Fly Fishing Insider Podcast

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Are you ready to travel?  Take a new trip to some great location and really enjoy yourself?  Have you ever thought about how that next fly fishing trip can help improve your photography? You know, whether you're a beginner or a seasoned photographer, you should enjoy the creative process of getting better.  Regardless of if it is with your cell phone or that expensive DSLR.

There are many fantastic ways to sharpen your photography skills. My experience is that one of the best and more creative ways to improve is by photographing travel and adventure trips I take for fly fishing.

Three Ways Travel Photography Can Make You a Better Photographer

1. Familiarize yourself with different settings

When shooting at home, you might stick to your comfort zone. You likely gravitate to the same few camera settings you know and love. What I recommend is experimenting more at home and taking a few of those tips and tricks on your next travel experience.  Often, I find myself shooting a few with old methods or on auto and then I experiment and take a few in manual. Especially fish photos!  Those fish are moving and time is limited so I want to capture something of value for me and the angler first.  Then with a flip of a switch I can play around and it is under pressure. 

Try experimenting with settings like aperture and shutter speed to capture new and unique perspectives.

For example, long exposure photography is popular with waterfalls and other moving water. Or maybe you want to experiment with increasing your aperture to capture more detailed scenes.

You'll learn something new even if the final photograph isn't perfect. You'll become a better photographer by familiarizing yourself with camera settings. The added pressure will embed the experience and most likely fumbling into your mind.  Most likely, you'll then spend a bit more time experimenting and building comfort for the next opportunity. 

Redfish while fly fishing

Redfish in Louisiana - DSLR


2. Experience shooting the unexpected

When traveling, you're likely unfamiliar with the subject matter or the environment you're shooting in. This is a great time to get comfortable with taking photos of the unexpected. I find myself always finding new and unique things that I'm just not familiar with. This always piques my interest and drives creativity.

Maybe an animal appeared out of nowhere. Or perhaps you've stumbled upon a view that you must capture. You'll get more experience adjusting your settings on the fly and framing different shots through travel.

Getting familiar with photographing the unexpected means you'll never miss another shot again!

Canal in the Netherlands

River Scene in the Netherlands - iPhone

3. Experiment with composition

When it comes to travel, take the time to experiment with different compositions. This is the perfect opportunity to create your own unique style and capture a unique point of view.

Landscapes are so different around the world, there's no one-size-fits-all solution to capturing the picture shot. Try different lenses, distances, and focal points.

When in doubt, start by framing your photo with the tried and true rule of thirds!

Sunrise on a fly fishing trip to Nevada
Morning sunrise on a fishing trip in Nevada - DSLR


Here Are a Few Photos from Trips I've Taken

Dog in Alaskan Guide Boat
Smolt the dog on a morning motor out in Alaska - DSLR
Shrimp Boil
A classic shrimp boil in Louisiana - DSLR
Tattoos in Louisiana on a fly fishing trip
Getting a Sheepshead Tattoo with a friend on a whim - iPhone
Bear encounter while fly fishing in Alaska
Bear encounter in Alaska - DSLR
Dog on fly fishing rod trip
Hugo the dog on a road trip to Idaho - iPhone
Utah National Parks Photo
Silhouette of trees in a Utah, National Park - DSLR

Be an Adventurous Photographer

By being open to new experiences, you'll grow your range as a photographer.

Maybe you'll surprise yourself and fall in love with travel photography!

Even if your goal isn't to be the next travel photography megastar, I guarantee you'll be a better photographer after dabbling in travel and adventure photography. It's a great way to enhance your memories and stories when you come home. 

If you like travel and want another tip, then look at the article by John R. Childress on travel fly rods