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Common Mistakes

Lesson 9 from: Travel Photography: Landscapes, Aerials, and Skylines

Ian Shive

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Lesson Info

9. Common Mistakes

Lesson Info

Common Mistakes

Common mistakes of travel photographers. This is the stuff that's happened to everybody, but going to a place that you've never been and having high expectations is probably the only thing I really need to say about mistakes because this is the one I hear and see all the time. People spend a ton of money, they book this trip of a lifetime, they go to Africa for the whatever, whatever migration, and they barely get anything. They forget to photograph the experience, the car, the hotels, all that stuff. They come back with a bunch of wildebeest images and they all look the same. (laughter) It's true. I've seen it so many times. Or they go, and they don't realize how complicated it is to work there, or how slow things move. That's why I say start at home, and get and perfect your craft, and telling the story of your city. Go out for an hour, you know, go out for 20 minutes, go for a walk, whatever, just keep building it until you say "this is a perfect portfolio of how I would love to sho...

w something". Now when you go to a place you've never been, you have a great reference point of what it is you're about, and what you can do. But I can't tell you how many people just, they book this incredible trip, and then they get, like six shots out of the whole thing, if that, sometimes. Unrealistic models, really got to be careful with this one. I can't tell you how many times people are telling a story about, think about even fitness, like running. Running in an urban area can be a great travel story. Where to run when visiting Washington, DC, or something. Make sure your runner, your model, is actually a runner. I've seen a lot of people who look like they've never gone running in their lives, wearing the wrong kind of sneakers. You know, I was just talking to somebody about how they had some running, and the girl had long hair, and it wasn't in a ponytail, and I'm like, most people I know that go for a run that have long hair, put it up when they go for a run, so it's not flying all over their face. You know, those are the little details. You want to make sure your models, and whoever they are, feel like they're realistic to the situation. That goes for luxury travel, as well. You know, you don't want people who look like they're doing the van life story, in the luxury travel story. Not to say that van life isn't luxurious. Unflattering light or compositions. Enough said, I'm not going to dwell on that, but it happens all the time. Wait for the dramatic light, or create it in post. Meaning, if it's bright, and it's too clear, make it bright, make it contrasty, warm it up a little bit. Otherwise, you know, you gotta wait, and make sure you get the right kind of light in the right kind of situation. And make sure, of course, you get the releases. We've talked a lot about that.

Ratings and Reviews


Great class! Lots of useful information on on how to take, market and sell your photographs, including what constitutes editorial vs commercial work.

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