In landscape photography, which is the focus of many trips, you can achieve excellent results with an ultra wide-angle lens. For breathtaking landscape photos, you are ideally looking for a great foreground and an impressive main subject.

A rock, a pattern in the ground or the colorful blossoms of a flower can serve as the foreground. The main motif could be a wide landscape, an imposing rocky coast or a prominent mountain peak. If you want to dive even deeper into landscape photography, you can find more tips on this topic here .

A huge butte in the Utah desert.
In landscape photography, the use of an ultra-wide-angle lens is a good idea.

Tips for great smartphone photos

If you have decided to only take photos with your smartphone while traveling, you should take a few things to heart:

  • Observe the basic rules when constructing the image (rule of thirds for the horizon, golden section)
  • Shoot at the best time of day (sunrise, sunset)
  • Always test multiple perspectives and change your point of view
  • Create depth in your photos with an exciting foreground
  • Use lines that run into the picture as a stylistic device
  • Don’t use the digital zoom (it’s better to walk towards your photo subject)
  • Skip the flashlight
  • Think of selfies – these are often the best memories of a trip

If you mainly photograph landscapes or animals when you travel – I’m thinking of a safari in Africa, for example – you should, if possible, pack a camera with the appropriate lenses (e.g. an ultra wide-angle lens for impressive landscape photos and a strong telephoto lens for impressive wildlife pictures) in your camera backpack .

Sunrise on the Merced River in Yosemite National Park in California.
In extremely difficult lighting conditions like here in Yosemite National Park, you have a huge advantage with a modern DSLM or DSLR over your smartphone.

How to back up your photos while traveling

You have been traveling in a distant country for weeks and have already taken thousands of holiday photos. But what happens if your camera is lost at the end of the trip or the memory card is no longer readable at home?

A very important aspect in travel photography is data backup on the go. Photos that you take with your smartphone should be uploaded to the cloud every day. If your cell phone is lost or broken, at least the photos of your trip are saved.

Expensive professional cameras are equipped with two card slots. To protect your photos and videos from a technical defect, you should always write the data to both memory cards in the camera at the same time. Unfortunately, cheaper cameras only have one card slot.

Of course, the two card slots are of no use to you if the camera sinks into the sea or is stolen in the hustle and bustle of people. Therefore, you should back up your pictures daily, for example on the laptop (or on an external SSD hard drive). Also, always keep the laptop or hard drive separate from the camera and, if possible, regularly save the images in the cloud (unfortunately, this is sometimes not that easy due to the large amounts of data).

An alternative or supplement to backing up your travel photos to the laptop is a portable SSD hard drive with an integrated card reader, such as the WD My Passport Wireless SSD. One of the most convenient (and unfortunately also most expensive) solutions comes from the storage specialist LaCie and is called Rugged BOSS. You can back up all your travel photos and videos on the robust drives – and without a laptop, right after the shoot.

Edit your photos at home

After a hopefully unforgettable journey, during which you have shot countless great pictures, it is time for the last step at home: the editing or development of your photos. There are several options here, such as the free programs Darktable and Raw Therapee, or paid image editing programs such as Adobe Lightroom, Capture One Pro or Skylum Luminar.

A road at sunset in Scotland.
You can only give your photos an individual touch during post-production.

Use the RAW format for the best image quality

In order to use the full potential of your camera, you should save your photos in compressed JPG format as well as in raw data format (RAW format) when you take them. You can set this on any camera with an interchangeable lens. The function is also available to you on a number of top smartphones.

A pier by the sea in Sicily at sunset.
landscape photos
With the RAW format, you have a lot more options when it comes to post-processing.

Photos taken in RAW format offer many more possibilities in post-processing. In this way, you can usually lighten up parts of the image that are too dark, take back lights or change the white balance without any problems. Photos that were only taken in JPG format offer significantly fewer options for image processing. The best possible image quality is also important if you want to sell your travel photos.

Additional tip: aerial photos with a drone

Another aspect that is playing an increasingly important role in travel photography is drone photography. With a drone you can easily take impressive photos from a completely new perspective.

When flying your drone, please observe the applicable local rules and laws. In particular, flying is prohibited in nature reserves and national parks. You must also take out drone liability insurance.

The old town of Rovinj in Croatia from the air - Aerial photos are more complex in travel photography, but particularly breathtaking. landscape photos
With a drone you can take breathtaking aerial photos when traveling like here from Rovinj in Croatia.

With these simple tips for travel photography, you are guaranteed to get great pictures on your next vacation. Then select the best photos at home, edit them and have the images delivered to your home on canvas (or on other material), fully developed – so you can enjoy your trip for a long time.

At the very end I want to give you one more important rule: be creative. Change your point of view as often as possible, for example squat down and take pictures from below. Use various objects as the foreground for your photos. Just try it out, practice makes perfect after all.


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