Travel photos you can ‘feel’

woman relaxing on swings

Most of us photographers love to travel to see new things and make the most stunning travel photos. We can recognise a stunning photo. But why is one good, and an other one bad? The secret is to speak to more than the sense of sight. There are five senses, stimulate as many of them as you can with your image, to make your audience believe that they are able to step into your photo and be part of your travels.

What qualifies as good travel photos that you can ‘feel’?

When you look at it, you’ll know, because you’ll feel the cool summer breeze against your skin, you’ll hear snow falling off the heavy branches, feel ice creaking under your boots or hear the ocean wash up on the beach. An indoor shoot makes you smell the fireplace or cookies being baked, hear the laughter at the family dinner table, taste the food and drinks in the photo and feel the softness of materials. A good photo is more than something you can see. It stimulates all senses and makes you feel in the moment. All places in the world have their own typical smells, sounds and tastes. Use them to make a photo that is a sensory delight.

Locations for special travel photos

Location is one of the most important things in a good photo shoot. The atmosphere of the photo depends partially on the location and its lighting conditions. Choose an interesting location, and you’re halfway there. Some stunning winter locations might be: a snowy park, a beautiful fireplace, or a Christmas market. In spring and summer: flowers, the beach, animals and children playing outside. In the fall, colors mostly take a lead role in spectacular outdoor photos.

Let’s check out some examples of photos that make you feel like you’re there:

Point of view

To make a photo feel like you can step into it, you’ll need to choose the right point of view, which should be either eye level or lower in most cases. As you can see in the examples above, the photographers have chosen to make you feel as if you’re looking through their eyes. It feels like you’re there, because you’re up close, almost as if you can touch the subject. Bird’s eye view don’t have the same effect.

Also important: Protect your gear

Camera gear is not cheap. Well, the good stuff isn’t. Take care of your gear. In cold weather, your camera battery will run out before you know it. Keep extra batteries with you, and keep them close to your body to keep them warm. Protect your camera against snow and rain with a waterproof sleeve. Use a lens hood, because while icy conditions are beautiful, they are also slippery. In sandy places like a desert or the beach, protect your lens by using a UV filter on your lens. Protect your lens! Think about what you’ll come across while you’re shooting, and make sure to have the proper protective items with you.

Tips and tricks

When you’re traveling and want to take photos that stand out between the thousands of other photographer’s photos of that same place, make sure you keep this in mind:

  • A great travel photo shows you what it felt like, and stimulates your other senses as well.
  • Watch your point of view. Make sure it feels like your audience could easily step into your photo moment.
  • Special locations and special lighting conditions are your best friend, especially when you combine the two.

Have fun!