Ilana on the road learns about photography

I made a wish to myself that my summer will be very busy and as usual, I should take care what do I wish for. Right now, I am taking the advantage of any free minute to document my next trips and next blog posts. My office desk can give the impression that I must be a very important person, with mountains of papers and books waiting to be scrutinized. The reality is that I am only a little bit messy and I need a proper planning.

Photography is a relatively new passion for me, and I wish I can practise it in a more skilful way. But since my late over burnt Nikon left me two months ago and I should smile nicely to be lent from time to time other people’s camera, I cannot do it properly. However, I continue to read about it and also consider taking a serious photography class, while working hard to get enough money to have a big shining professional camera in my hands again. 

Nothing works well without planning

Similarly with travel, travel photography needs a lot of planning. Documentation is very important because it helps to organize your priorities, to ‘see’ how your posts will look like and what you need to do. Once you know what you are supposed to do, you can plan your time in a specific location and make a right choice of hotel and funding for additional costs like transportation.

If you intend to illustrate your posts with your own photos, each town has its ‘musts’. For instance, don’t miss Tour Eiffel when in Paris or Brandenburger Tor when in Berlin. If you are a blogger covering specific niches, like parks, or travel with children, you need to include on your priority list new objectives. 

If the main focus of your blog is photography – and what is travel writing without images, your own images? – you should take a longer time than what is usually offered by the traditional tours. 10 or 15 minutes break will not be enough for a quality snapshot; one needs time to see the right light and to have a proper understanding of the location.

Check the weather

This is one of my biggest problems as I usually don’t pay too much attention to the weather and I always expect a sunny and warmer ambiance. Such a delusional compulsion is detrimental to the mental health of the traveler, mainly during the winter and especially if I am not travelling to the warmer corners of the world.

For a photographer, the weather-related information is very important in the choice of the filters and other useful items to be carried away during the trip. If you travel for the first time in a special place, like the Sahara, Morocco, Nordic countries, a good idea will be to get in touch with people that went there before and have a basic photographic experience there. With our online world, everything is easier.

Other cultural advices

Another advantage of the proper documentation is that it reveals sensitive aspects that you should consider for a successful travel experience. The dress code is important when visiting the Middle East, especially as a woman, but also if you want to go to any religious location.

Plus, some countries may have certain restrictions when it comes to taking photos on the street or in special situations. For example, in Japan, the photographers are not allowed to take pictures of the Imperial family when descending the stairs and Thailand is very careful when it comes to the criticism against the Royal family. Unless you want some special experiences in prisons or you have enough money for fines, you should pay attention to all those details.