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Travel Photographs

A good set of travel photographs of the place you visited will help you market your travel article. Travel photos will also assist in communicating your story, and can make it more entertaining. As well, a photograph can often tell the reader what words cannot. In this article, I will discuss the following aspects of travel photographs:

  • Types of cameras you can purchase
  • Types of picture formats
  • How to take travel photos
  • What to types of photographs to shoot
  • How to protect your digital photos
  • Submitting photos for publication
  • Tips for taking travel photos

Types of Cameras to Use

There are two types of digital cameras you can purchase: a point and shoot and a digital SLR. If you are a novice, purchase the point-and-shoot digital camera, as it is easy to use. Basically, to take a photography, all you need to do is select a subject, focus the camera, and snap the photograph. After taking the photo, you can view it on the LCD screen. If you don’t like the  photo, you can delete it. Otherwise, the picture will be stored on the memory card of the camera. Most point-and-shoot digital cameras can take good photographs, which can be enlarged to a size of 8” x 10”. A good point-and shoot-camera also has many creative features such as taking close-up, action photos, or landscape.

For a travel writer who is serious about taking good photos, the best type of camera is a digital SLR. It allows you to do everything that a point-and-shoot camera can do. But it also allows you to control the shutter, aperture, and exposure—three elements that will enable you to take creative photos. Another feature of the digital SLR is that you can interchange lens. You can use a macro to take close-up shots, a standard lens to take standard photos, and a zoom lens to take shots in the distance.

Ideally, you should buy both types of cameras. If one breaks, you can use the other as back up.

File Formats

Before submitting your travel photos, clarify with the editor whether to send them as slides, photos, negatives, film, or digital files. Presently, most photographs are saved, stored, and sent as digital files. The most common types of digital pictures formats are JPEG, TIFF, and RAW.

How to Take Travel Photos

There are many guidelines for taking memorable travel articles. If you are keenly interested in becoming an expert travel photographer, you ought to enrol in a travel photography course. It can teach you all you need to know. In this section, I will touch on only a few important guidelines.

First, before you take the photo, think about what you want to shoot, be sure to have a main point of focus or focal point. Secondly, fill the frame with the subject. You can do this by moving closer or by zooming in on the subject. Thirdly, eliminate mergers. These are distractions in the background. For instance, be sure that a branch is not protruding from a person’s head in the background. A good rule is to shoot photos of people where there is a plain background. Another suggestion is to change the angle of the camera for different shots. For landscape photos, you will often shoot vertically. For people, you will often take the picture horizontally. Finally, take photos of the same subject from different locations. For each new location, you will get a different perspective.

What Types of Photos to Shoot

With a digital camera, you can take a myriad of photos, without having to run out of film. Furthermore, you can view the picture after you take it. If you don’t like the photo, you can delete it and take another. The first suggestion about shooting travel photos is to take lots of them. The second suggestion is to take pictures that relate to your travel story. Another suggestion is to take photos that capture the mood of the destination, the people, the history, the architecture, and the setting. If you travel to a remote location or place that is difficult to travel to, be sure to also take lots of photographs. Finally, for each location you visit on your trip, be sure to take photos of the people, scenery, and mood of the place. The more photos you take, the better chance you will have of taking a memorable picture. Furthermore, the photographs will help you remember your trip. And my remembering vivid details, you can write a better travel article.

Protecting your Photographs from Damage

It is not sufficient to store your photographs on the memory card of your camera. If the camera is lost or stolen, you cannot replace your photographs. So for protection and safe keeping, back up your files on to the hard drive of your laptop computer. As well, store your files on a flash drive in case your laptop is lost, stolen, damaged. Finally, make note of the names of each digital file so that you know where it is stored

Submitting Travel Photos

Before submitting your photos for publication, be sure to find out what types of photographs you can submit. You need to know whether to submit black and white, colour, slides, photos on CD, negatives, prints, or digital files.

As well, don’t send large digital files of photos by email to the editor, because it will take too long to send by them over the Internet. As well, you might annoy the editor for slowing down his/her email access.

If you are serious about taking good travel photos to compliment your travel writing, you should build a website and display your photos there

Tips for Taking Travel Photos

  1. Learn how to use the features of your digital camera. To do this, read the manual for the camera and practise taking photos.
  2. Take a course on digital photography. You can find good courses on photography at a community college or university near you.
  3. Learn to see creatively. In other words, use the rule of thirds, change the angle of view, fill the frame, frame your shot, choose a focal point
  4. Shoot lots of pictures. Unlike a film camera, you can take photos with your digital camera, and then delete them if they are not appealing.
  5. Take photos that tell a story. Focus on the people, place, culture, history, scenery, and mood of the destination.
  6. Purchase a point-and-shoot digital camera and a good digital SLR camera with a 18mm-200mm lens. If you camera breaks, you have a backup. Moreover, the digital SLR allows you to take photos creatively.
  7. Store your digital photos on the hard drive of your laptop and on a flash drive. If you camera is lost, stolen, or damaged, you still have copies of your photos.


In the next post, I will discuss how to conduct research before going on your trip.

The Travel Journal

In the previous post, I provided you with an introduction to travel writing. In this post, I am going to discuss the travel journal, an essential tool for every writer who aspires to become a travel writer.

What is a travel journal? It is a notebook that you take wherever you go on your trip. You use it to record the day’s events, experiences, impressions, sights, and sounds of the trip. After your trip, you will use the information that you recorded in your travel journal to write your travel article. Most writer’s use an 8 ½ by 11 inch notebook or legal-size pad. Some writers also keep a sketch book.

What should you include in your travel journal? It depends on the writer and the type of travel article you are planning to write. Some travel writers include contact information, factual details, historical information, transportation schedules, names of places, sketches, and more. Others like to sketch scenes and include artefacts, such as postcards and travel brochures. At the very least, you need to include vivid details and sensory details about the events or experience. You should also include your thoughts and impressions of each your trip.

It is not important to focus on all the facts of the place. You can do some research in a travel guide or on the Web to find specific details, such as the history of a place or the culture. Often you can do this prior to taking the trip.

You need to write in way that allows you to remember what you have seen and heard and felt. Some writers jot down a few words or phrases as they go. Others write a summary after the experience. Your goal is to write sensory details that appeal to your sense of sight, smell, taste, touch, and hearing. Your goal is also to write vivid descriptions and concrete and specific details. And your goal is to jot down as much information as you can about the trip. The more notes you have, the more options you have for writing an engaging travel article.

How should you write an entry? One of the best approaches is to experience the moment, and then write about it in your notebook. By doing this, you have time to reflect on what you have seen or heard. Another good approach is to jot down a few notes as you experience the moment, write a summer at lunchtime while the experience is still vivid in your mind, and then write another summary of the day’s events and experiences at the end of the day. Whatever approach you decided to use, you must focus on what you see, hear, and feel. To help you, jot down a few key words or phrases that will allow you to relive the experience when you are going to write your travel article.

What are you going to write? This will depend on your interest in traveling to the destination and purpose of the trip. Prior to taking the trip, you can conduct research on the type of travel article you intend to write. (For an explanation of the types of travel articles you can write, see my previous post.)Then, when you are on the trip, you can record the type of information in your notebook that will help you write your travel article.

To help you remember the experience, you ought to take photographs with a digital camera. Often a good photography says more than what you can write in your notebook. So, if you don’t own a good digital camera, and are planning to write travel articles, you should purchase one.

To help you recall the experience, you should also collect artefacts of your trip. Collecting sea shells, local newspapers, postcards, travel books, travel brochures, travel guides, and souvenirs will help you to remember how you felt and what you saw and heard. These artefacts will support you note taking.

To help record and remember the event or experience, you should also carry a tape recorder. You can use it to record your thoughts, impressions, and sounds of the place you are visiting. You can also use the tape recorder to conduct an interview. The tape recorder will support your note taking.

In summary, the purpose of the travel journal is to allow you to record what you see, hear, and feel on your trip. You should take as many notes as possible. After the trip, you will use the notes in your travel journal to write your travel article.

In the next post, I will discuss a few things related to taking travel photos and using them in your travel article.

Travel Writing

In the next few posts, I will write about travel writing.


Travel writing is a popular type of creative nonfiction. An aspiring travel writer can write travel articles for the Web, newspaper, travel magazines, travel literature, or travel guidebooks.

A good travel article is based on fact and is truthful. And the reader assumes that the writer has visited the destination or participated in the experience.

A good travel article brings the destination or place to life. The writer is able to transport the reader to the destination by using facts, vivid descriptions, anecdotes, storytelling, and sensory images. Often the destination or experience takes place in some larger context, such as the Olympics, White Water Rafting, Fishing, or Scuba Diving.

A good travel article also educates readers, provides them with entertainment, such as the use of humour, and helps them make decisions about travel destinations and other travel decisions.

To become a travel writer, you must love to travel and have strong writing skills. You must also learn the art and craft of travel writing. There are several good books on the market to help you, such as “The Lonely Planet’s Guide to Travel Writing” or “Travel Writing” by L. Peat O’Neal.

Types of Travel Articles

As an aspiring travel writer, you have several different types of travel articles that you can write. Each article has its own style, tone, structure, and purpose. The following is a list of the different types of travel articles you can write:

  • Destination Articles. It is a popular type of travel writing. The purpose of the destination article is to interest the reader and motivate them to book a trip to the destination. This type of article covers all the important tourist attractions and includes lots of facts about the destination. Often the writer explores a destination through the structure of a theme. The writer often includes history, historical landmarks, cultural facts in writing about the destination.
  • Personal Experience Travel Essay. The writer uses the first person “I” to write the travel essay. The essay is about the writer’s experience while traveling. The writer discloses person truths and discoveries in while journeying or traveling. It is not a personal diary, which contains the writer’s thoughts, feelings, impressions about the destination. To write the travel essay, the writer must be strong writing skills.
  • Travel Advice Articles. In this type of article, the writer provides advice about travel, such as how to buy tickets at a discount online. Often, the writer can conduct research for this type of article by phone, email, or using the Web.
  • Humour Travel Articles. It is an article or essay based on the writer’s personal experience, often about the writer’s follies or foibles while traveling. Often the writer uses anecdotes to write about human error or misadventure or being out of place.
  • Recreational Travel Article. It is based on the writer participating in an experience or adventure, such as scuba diving, white water rafting, golfing, fishing, rock climbing, and so forth. Before the writer can honestly write this type of article, he must participate in the experience.
  • Journey Articles. When writing this type of travel article, the writer focuses on “the journey” itself. The writer uses storytelling to communicate the journey to the reader. The writer also shares his feelings and impressions of the journey with the reader.
  • Special Interest Article. This type of travel article deals with travel as it relates to a specific activity. It special interest is set in the destination. For instance, the writer could write an article about golfing at Pebble Beach in California. The purpose of this type of article is to inform the readers how they can learn more about their hobby or leisure pursuit. Essentially, it is a travel story based on a special interest or leisure pursuit.

The Travel Writer’s Toolbox

The travel writer must be able to record his/her thought, impressions, descriptions, experiences, and so forth. To record information, the writer has a few tools in his/her tool box. These include:

  1. Travel Journal/notebook. The writer uses it to record his impressions, experiences, and reflections. The writer will refer to his travel journal to write his travel article.
  2. Tape Recorder. The writer can use the tape recorder to conduct an interview or record his impressions.
  3. Digital Camera. The writer can take photos of the destination or experience. A picture often says what words cannot. It can also help get an article published. Furthermore, readers love to view photos of far off places or adventures. Photographs can also help the writer to remember the experience in vivid detail.
  4. Laptop computer. The writer uses it to write the travel article, communicate by email, and conduct research on the Web. It is an essential tool.


Next, I will discuss the travel journal.