Travel Photography

Do you know what a huge eyeopener was to me? Anyone can take great photos. Read that again: anyone can take great photos. You do not have to be a professional photographer to take better photos! You don’t even need the most expensive camera and camera gear. Simple changes as a different position and a good composition already make a big difference!
If you want to take better photos, pay attention to your composition.
If you want to make great photos, set your camera on manual mode and start shooting in RAW file format. When you shoot in RAW this will give you the best opportunities to edit later on.
If you want to take excellent photos, invest time, energy and keep photographing and learning.

If you have never taken photos in manual mode before, it can be quite overwhelming at the start. However, if you follow the step-by-step instructions I will provide in the next two months, all will be clear.

I started in 2019 taking photos in manual mode and trying to understand aperture, ISO value, and shutter speed. It took me ages to set up my camera and I was very insecure. Especially when you are photographing kids, you want to be fast since kids, in general, do not want to pose for longer than a few seconds to minutes. So I just let the kids play while I was setting up my camera and when I was finished I asked them to stand in my frame. After a few months, I started to understand my settings and I was able to switch quickly with my settings depending on the scene I wanted to capture. I also took several courses (Zoom Academy, Kijk en Zie Fotoschool, and courses by Tim Shields) to improve my photography skills.

In this section I will go through several camera settings (Aperture, ISO, Shutter speed), I will discuss composition and I will also provide several examples on how to capture your best travel moments in a great way. I will discuss landscape photos, sunset photos, photos at the beach, and much more!

Camera Settings



Shutter Speed






Type of Photography








Different scenario's

When you want to capture birds flying around a person, you should decide where you want to capture the scene.

  1. Take a low position and shoot hand-held or set up a tripod if it is difficult to stay low and focused.
  2. If you want a bit of a blurred background, you can set your aperture to 4.0. I wouldn’t recommend a lower aperture, since it might become difficult to capture fast-moving birds sharply. If you prefer to have more sharpness in your photo, you can set the aperture at 5.0-7.1. Just remember, with a higher aperture there will be less light that reaches your camera sensor.
  3. You need a fast shutter speed, 1/1600 to 1/2000 to freeze the movement of the birds and reduce motion blur. It also depends on which birds you capture, they are not all equally fast. A fast shutter speed means a very short time span to collect light.
  4. When you have a high shutter speed and a high aperture, you are very likely to get a dark photo. To compensate for this, you can either shoot in broad daylight and/ or increase your ISO value. The ISO value determines sensitivity to light. Typically an ISO value of 100 is recommended, however under these circumstances, you will probably need a much higher ISO value, maybe even 1000 or more. Do not increase more than necessary since a higher ISO value decreases the quality of your photo. Another option is to keep the ISO value at automatic mode so the camera adjusts ISO according to light conditions.
  5. If you want to capture a flying bird, I would advise to set the metering mode for determining the exposure to: spot metering or centre-weighted metering. However, if you plan to capture a subject with birds it is better to choose multi metering mode.
  6. Make sure to use continuous focusing mode. The camera will detect the movements and refocus accordingly to keep the subject sharp. 
  7.  Turn on VR/Image stabilization on your lens when this is an option to reduce camera shaking when hand holding.
  8. Focus on your subject. If you want to capture flying birds in the sky, you should follow the birds with the camera, but that is a different scenario.
  9. Capture the action in continuous shooting mode.

I photographed my youngest son at Piazza del Duomo in Milano. He attracted the pigeons by throwing two hands full with pieces of bread in the air at once. They flew all around him, he was not scared and it was such an exciting scene to watch! I didn’t have issues with the brightness of the photos since this was shot in broad daylight. I chose to shoot in Manual mode , but shutter mode is also possible. 

  • Camera and lens :Sony alfa 7R/ Zoomlens         
  • Camera Settings: 24-105 mm/ f/4 / ISO200 / 1/2000

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