Travel Tips & Tricks

By T. Michael Stanley

1. That last minute trip or hurried rush to catch a ride or even the inconvenience of

carrying a tripod doesn’t mean disaster. A small bag of rice or beans or even a

sock filled with sand can make a suitable substitute for a tripod. Always carry an

extra sock (they can also be used to protect your lenses) and a small plastic bag.

A plastic bag to put the sock in will keep the sand from getting in your camera or

scratching your lens.

2. Don’t court disaster on a trip to a waterfall or on a boat. Carry a couple of trash

bags in your camera kit to protect your gear and to use as a poncho. The bags

with “cinch” tops are not as waterproof as a heavy duty bag that can be tied with a

piece of twine or twist tie. To be extra careful double bag your extra gear. This is

especially helpful when weather conditions are not optimum.

3. The best times of day to record texture in scenery are early morning, noon and late

evening. Texture is created by shadows cast by sunlight. The shadows create

depth in the image and also add drama and emotion to scenery.

4. A large hat can be used to protect the lens from unwanted sun spots or flaring

lights. A hat for a photographer can be worn on the head or held in the hand and

can also be used as a prop on the head of a model. Add a large scarf and a big

piece of cloth and you have a cape and a belt. Be creative!

5. Most photographers make the mistake of centering their images especially with

landscapes. Try to place landscapes in thirds. One third for the sky and two thirds

for the landscape or vice-a-versa. Try to give yourself a foreground, middle ground

and back ground area in each image. This will create depth and dimension to your


6. Try to work with a theme when you travel. One idea is to photograph only door

knobs or just door frames or maybe only windows. Whatever you select, try to

stay with that theme until the trip is done. The final step is to print the images,

mat them and present them as a body of work. Not only do you have a unique

perspective of your travels, you also have the beginning of a portfolio!

7. Learn the right words to say when you travel to a new place. “Please”, “Thank

You”, “Pardon Me” and “Good Morning” can open doors that are closed to the rude

traveller. Speak softly and beware of local customs. The ugly travellers are the

ones that try to impose their lifestyle on others. Enjoy where you are at and make

the best of it.

These tips brought to you by T.Michael Stanley for

Photo Tours & Travel

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