Travel Photography

Course CodeVPH005
Fee CodeS1
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

Travelling can perhaps challenge photographic skills perhaps more than anything else. This is because there is usually such a variety of photographic subjects and photo opportunities.

There are many considerations, for example:

  • What to take - too much equipment can be as much a problem as too little
  • Timing -Climatic conditions as well as events provide different opportunities in different places at different times (eg. Shadows that can be difficult to work with may be more of a problem at certain times of year -or day).
  • Legal Considerations: laws can vary: in some places, you may need official permission before you can take a photograph of something.

Lesson Structure

There are 8 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction
    • To be able to take good travel photographs, the first essential is to know and understand the equipment and materials used in photography. Part of this first lesson is aimed to ensure that you have this basic knowledge.
  2. The Main Principles
    • This lesson aims to provide you with a firm understanding of how you can work at improving your capabilities with respect to taking travel photographs. It provides a framework, upon which you will base your work in future lessons.
  3. Creating Different Effects
    • Learn how to achieve different effects with snapshots and scenic shots.
  4. Photographing Natural Areas
    • Learn how to photograph wilderness shots and seascapes.
  5. Photographing Streetscapes
    • Learn the two main types of street photography: posed & candid
  6. Photographing Interiors
    • Look at the difficulties involved in photographing interior subjects and how to overcome them.
  7. Developing Your Photographic Style
    • By using photographic equipment skillfully and learning how to adjust settings on digital cameras and sense the way different and types of film will respond to different colours and different situations (eg: haze, back light, side light, reflected light etc).
  8. Major Project

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.


  • Identify the scope of travel photography, and the resources required to take travel photos
  • Explain how you can work at improving your capabilities with respect to taking travel photographs.
  • Apply camera techniques including framing, positioning, timing and borrowed landscapes to create various effects.
  • Photograph natural areas to make best use of their texture, or even give them emotional qualities.
  • Photograph streetscapes to create different moods, or capture elements of your choice.
  • Photograph indoor scenes making best use of available and artificial lighting.
  • Create a series of travel photographs which contain a single common feature that differentiates them from other photographs, and in doing so, provides an indication that they are likely to have been taken by the same person.

Think about When You Want to Take Photos

The time of day you take a photo will affect the result dramatically. Very early morning or late afternoon, are generally (but not always) the best times. It is important really know what kind of effect different lighting will have on your pictures. When the sun is directly overhead in the middle of the day it is a good time to photograph subjects with strong shapes. But it is a bad time for portraiture as because the face will end up shaded while the surrounds are bright.

 While flashes are very convenient, there is always a way to get the photograph you want using natural light. By understanding how natural light works, you can use it to your advantage.

Changes in weather can provide a plethora of photo opportunities. Dark stormy days often have moments where a streak of light finds its way through the clouds and throws down a splash of brilliant light. Rainbows after storms also can create natural but dramatic effects. Even those horrid rainy days provide an opportunity to get great pictures as light bounces off all wet and shiny surfaces.




There are plenty of frustrations in travel photography – subjects can be distance, people too numerous and time short. Following these pointers may help you to make the most of each opportunity:

  • Do your homework: when appropriate know where you’re going and roughly what you’ll find there. This will allow you to make the most of every opportunity
  • Define your subject:  Keep a clear idea of your focal subject and don’t try to include too much in your photographs
  • Get close to your subject whenever possible
  • Take plenty of shots, using different angles and techniques. Plenty of time later to review and analyse and choose favourites.
  • Be patient: crowds ebb and flow, and patience may reward you with an idea photo opportunity.
  • If using digital photography, you may be able to edit out distractions at a later date. Don’t let them stop a potential great photo.

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ACS is an Organisational Member of the British Institute for Learning and Development
ACS is an Organisational Member of the British Institute for Learning and Development

Member of Study Gold Coast, Education Network
Member of Study Gold Coast, Education Network

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ACS Global Partner - Affiliated with colleges in seven countries around the world.

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  John Mason

Writer, Manager, Teacher and Businessman with over 40 years interenational experience covering Education, Publishing, Leisure Management, Education, and Horticulture. He has extensive experience both as a public servant, and as a small business owner. John is a well respected member of many professional associations, and author of over seventy books and of over two thousand magazine articles.
  John Edwards

Professional photographer. Experienced in Environmental and Water Services management. Has traveled extensively for photography projects. John has a BA (Hons) Photography, BSc (Hons) Env.Mgt, PGCE
  Barbara Seguel

Teacher and Researcher, Marine Scientist, Tourism and Outdoor recreation guide, Health and Safety Coordinator & Production Manager for Fisheries, National Park Staff/Farmer, Laboratory technical aide, Zoo, Wildlife and Marine Park assistant. Barbara has worked in Hawaii, Mexico, Chile, New Zealand, and Australia. Barbara has a B.Sc. Marine (Academic degree) and M.Sc Aquaculture Engineering.
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University lecturer, businesswoman, photographer, consultant and sustainability expert; with over 40 years industry experience B.A., M.Plan.Prac., M.A.(Social). An expert in planning, with years of practical experience in permaculture.
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