Start with the shooting checklist
As photographers, we are interested in one or two different types of photography, such as people, landscapes or food. This is great and encouraging, and focusing on one area can help you become an expert in that area. However, as a travel photographer, you need to take pictures that reflect the characteristics and culture of a place in a comprehensive way. These pictures have to tell a complete story to the audience, which means making different kinds of pictures, so we have to be all things to all people.
We've all seen pictures taken by other photographers during their travels, though some were pretty or even rare. But enough after a dozen consecutive landscape shots, right? To keep the audience interested, it is necessary to have photos that show all the characteristics of the destination, especially one that is distinctive.
I once gave a class called "Capturing the Essence of a Place." I've talked about the importance of following the basic principles of photography, and this starts with making a list. Lists can provide a basic framework for photographing activities, and help photographers take pictures that truly reflect the inner workings of a place. At the same time, this shooting list will contain a number of shooting types. I came up with 50 broad categories, including people, landmarks, details, cultural customs, panoramas, everyday life, fashion and style, history, and many others.
Tired of carrying a pen and paper with me, I use my phone’s notepad to create lists when I travel. Then I decided to make my own Travel Photo Checklist app that runs on the iPhone and iPod Touch (it also works on the iPad, but is not optimized for the iPad at the moment). The app costs 99 cents, but it's a great tool for organizing and tracking lists, and it can make lists of any destination or subject on request. In addition, each photographic category in the application comes with a sample sheet and a complete description.
Users can use the iPhone or iPod's camera and myData feature to take photos directly within the app, and can add notes to each photo, such as location, best time to take a shot, equipment Suggestions and other content. There is also a 'Challenge Me' feature in the app, activated by shaking the device or pressing the 'Challenge Me' button. This feature adds a new shoot type to the top of the current shoot list. The aim is to force users out of their habits, constantly reminding them to try new things. This can be used as a test or task on yourself in order to force you to take different types of photos in a day or a week.
As a travel photography instructor, my main goal is to help anyone with a camera bring back many different and interesting photos on their travels, whether you're traveling around the world or on a short local trip. Photos taken during your travels are the best material you can use to create slides, books, albums, and online presentations. We are the storytellers, so make sure the pictures we take tell a complete story.