Indian cycle rickshaw driver sleeps on his bicycle by Dmitry Rukhlenko

Best street photography destinations in the world

  • AuthorKav Dadfar
  • Reading Time4-5 mins

Street photography can provide some of the most engaging photos. So here are 10 of the best street photography destinations in the world…

1 Fez (Morocco)

Market in Morocco. Photo by Irene – f/3.5 | ISO 320 | 1/25s

This historic northeastern Moroccan city is one best locations in the world for street photography enthusiasts. Whilst the architecture is also of interest, for street photographers, nothing will beat wandering around the UNESCO World Heritage old town (or medina).

As you amble around the narrow maze-like passageways, you’ll be treated to locals going about their daily lives, artisans making products and shopkeepers haggling with shoppers on everything from carpets and souvenirs to pottery and lamps. The only challenge will be being able to capture sharp images as the narrow streets are fairly dark, so you will have to raise your ISO accordingly to have a fast enough shutter speed for handheld photography.

2 New Delhi (India)

DELHI, INDIA – SEPTEMBER 11, 2011: Indian cycle rickshaw driver sleeping on his bicycle in the street of New Delhi, India. Cycle rickshaws were used in Kolkata starting about 1930 and are now common in rural and urban areas of India.

3 Bangkok (Thailand)

Old guy from Thailand. Photo by Ykä Kiukkonen – f/1.4 | ISO 3200 | 1/125s

The capital of Thailand might be famous for its temples and sky bars, but it is also a wonderful street photography destination. Walking along most streets will offer opportunities to photograph locals going about their day or even artisans and craftsman working in their shops. You will also see plenty of street food carts which are also great points of interest for street photographers.

But arguably, the best street photography location in Bangkok will be in Chinatown along Yaowarat Road in the Samphanthawong District. Visit at night and the neon signs will be shining bright and street food stalls and restaurants full of activity.

4 Hanoi (Vietnam)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Sitting along the Red River, Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam. Like most cities in this part of the world, you would expect plenty of street photography opportunities and you won’t be disappointed.

The Old Quarter is an explosion of activity and when you are not busy jumping out of the way of scooters, you’ll be looking in every direction for the next photo. What makes this location unique for street photography (besides the conical hats) is that the streets are busy from dawn to dusk. So you can shoot all day in a relatively small area.

5 Rome (Italy)

Trastevere street shadows. Photo by Richard Kendrick

The Eternal City is one of the most significant cities in the history of western civilisation. So much of its influence can be seen across Europe. The city itself is beautiful and worth a photography visit.

But beyond its museums, historic buildings and magnificent food, Rome also offers fantastic street photography opportunities. Whether its people whizzing about on their motorbikes, or locals chatting over an espresso, you won’t be disappointed with your street photos from Rome. Especially as your backdrops might just be some of those stunning famous buildings that we all know so well.

6 New York (USA)

Colourful street view in Manhattan. Photo by Perry van Munster – f/5.6 | ISO 100 | 1/125s

The Big Apple has always been a favourite location for photographers. Whether you are after cityscapes or food, NYC has it all. And naturally, it is also a great street photography location as well. From city executives on Wall Street to locals playing cards in Chinatown, New York is a city that is made for street photography.

7 Buenos Aires (Argentina)

Boca Juniors tattoo. Photo by Danny Last – f/1.8 | ISO 20 | 1/800s

Head to La Boca in Buenos Aries, and you can immerse yourself in two of Argentina’s biggest passions, tango and football! The colourful buildings will provide the backdrops for street performers who will go through their rendition of the tango. And when you have shot enough tango photos, turn your attention to football where street art of famous footballers and Argentina’s favourite player Diego Maradona is seemingly on every wall.

Just be very careful walking around La Boca alone as it’s a very dangerous place. My best advice would be to get yourself a local guide and be sure to leave before it’s dark!

8 London (England)

Black and white on Brick Lane. Photo by Don Ferguson – f/5.6 | ISO 400 | 1/210s

It may not be an obvious choice when it comes to street photography, but London is a great city for anyone who wants to look beyond the famous monuments. Head to the East End of London for those gritty and authentic street photography opportunities.

But even in the centre of London, there are plenty of places where you can capture unique street photos. For example, Leake Street graffiti tunnel, the skate park in Waterloo, the Southbank, Camden, Soho and even the passages in Neil’s Yard off Covent Garden are all great places to explore and capture very different photos of London.

9 Istanbul (Turkey)

Istanbul lovers. Photo by Wangting – f/2.8 | ISO 100 | 1/1250s

Straddling two continents, Istanbul manages to offer both modern and old in the same city. The Old City is home to the famous and historic buildings that are so synonymous with this city. But there are also plenty of street photography possibilities.

One of the biggest and best places to visit is the Grand Bazaar which is one of the biggest and oldest covered markets in the world. Photography is challenging in the market due to the low light, but you will find that around most stalls there will be enough light for handheld photography at a fast enough shutter speed.

10 Havana (Cuba)

Street life in Havana. Photo by Mark Allison – f/5.6 | ISO 400 | 1/100s

I have saved (possibly) the best street photography destination till last! No amount of time will be enough to capture everything that you possibly can in Havana. Every street in La Habana Vieja (Old Havana) is picturesque and there is always a photo opportunity.

But even beyond Old Havana, for a street photographer, the photos don’t stop. In fact, I firmly believe that you can simply stand on any given street corner and end up with a ton of great photos by the end of the day. The best advice I can give anyone for photographing Havana is to simply walk around and take your time. Oh, and to take plenty of memory cards!

Author notes:

There are so many other great street photography locations that I could have included in this list. For example, Rio de Janeiro, Paris and even places like Tehran, Tokyo and Beijing could easily be on the list. But then that’s what is great about street photography. Every street in the world has the potential for great street photos.

Author
Kav Dadfar

Kav is a full-time photographer and author of 400+ articles. He is also a judge on the Wanderlust Magazine Photography of the Year competition and leads small group photo tours around the world.
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Travel Photography Equipment Guide for Beginners

September 4, 2020/in Seasonal & Travel Photography/by Infocus Guest Author

Every picture tells a story and I’m passionate about telling stories and sharing my travel experiences through my landscape and travel photography websites.

Quite often, people ask me about what kind of camera gear I use to capture my images. Back in the 1970s, I started out shooting with a simple Olympus film camera. I am a photographer that doesn’t rely on a lot of fancy technical gear. There’s a lot of people that think that if you don’t have the perfect camera, the latest gear, or the best accessories, then you’re not ready to be an effective travel photographer. But, it’s not the tools that make the photographer. Tools simply help you to bring your ideas to life. If it’s my iPhone that’s in my pocket when I see the perfect shot – then that’s what I shoot with.

Travel photography at golden hour with a wide-angle lens

Having had the privilege of working with Canon Canada for 14 years, I’ve had a chance to meet and work with some incredible photographers. Their stories and experiences have changed the way I look at things. I’ve also had the privilege of trying out a lot of different types of travel photography equipment. Listed below are some ideas I’d like to share.

Unlimited Photo Storage

Travel Photography Cameras

So, what makes the best camera for travel photography? This is a complicated and constantly-evolving question to answer, but it’s probably a camera that allows you to capture great-quality images and doesn’t weigh a ton. Camera manufacturers are always changing their line-up with the latest and greatest features, but the things to look for in a good travel camera is image quality, long battery life, size and weight, simple to use, and that doesn’t cost a fortune. The most important thing about a travel camera is that it doesn’t get in your way of enjoying the adventure and at the same time delivers stunning images. The best travel camera for you is going to be very dependent on your needs and situation.

Fine Art Black & White Photography

I’ve gone through a number of camera bodies throughout the years but, for now, have settled on the Canon EOS 6D full-frame DSLR camera. I have investigated and tried mirrorless cameras, but because the weight wasn’t significantly less, I’ve stuck with what works for me and gets me great photos. The Canon 6D is one of the lightest weight DSLR cameras (1.7 pounds with the battery). The camera battery gives me decent life (if I’m not using GPS). The processor delivers enhanced noise reduction and exceptional processing speed, all in a compact body. Because if it’s compact size, it fits into my hand like a glove.

Camera Lenses for Travel Photography

Whilst it would be wonderful to have a large range of lenses to take with you on trips, the reality of travel is that you can only carry so much before you feel like a weighed-down camel. It’s better to try and focus on getting a smaller number of lenses that work well in a wide variety of situations. I personally use three lenses 99% of the time. When we consider travel photography, we capture landscapes, portraits, street scenes, architecture, and so on — all of these subjects require different lenses to be properly framed.

So, let’s look at a few lenses.

  • The “Do It All” Camera LensThe 24-70mm lens or 24-105mm lens is enormously versatile. The 24-105mm lens is the one I use mostly because of its versatility. It gives me a wide-angle to nearly telephoto range and allows me to capture large landscapes, close-up portraits, and everything else in between without having to change lenses. It’s a good size and doesn’t weigh a lot.
Travel Photography with Canon 24-105 F4 Lens
  • My Canon EF 24–105mm F/4L is II USM  camera lens is a great general-purpose lens and was a great value when I purchased it with my 6D DSLR kit. If I could only take one lens while I’m hiking or biking, this is the one. AT 24mm, it is especially valuable for landscape photography and for capturing images in tight places. The 105mm focal length on the long end is really useful for a wide range of subjects, including portraits.
  • The Ultra Wide Zoom LensThe 16-35mm lens or something close to it is the ultimate go-to lens for a travel photographer looking to capture landscapes, cityscapes, or even internal building spaces. Not all wide-angle lenses are the same, so you need to do a little research. You want to make sure it creates sharp, beautiful images with little to no barrel distortion or fish-eye effect. Some lenses are better at this than others.I love my Canon 16-35 F/4L IS wide-angle lens and it has been popular with many landscape photographers. It’s an extremely sharp ultra-wide-angle zoom lens, delivering prime-grade image sharpness right into full-frame corners. A stellar-performing image stabilization system makes this lens a great lens. I can use it at the top of a windy mountain and shoot incredible quality, deep depth of field imagery without the use of a tripod. I had the Canon 11-24mm F/4L fisheye lens out in the field many times, but it was heavier and necessitated me carrying a larger camera bag.
  • The Telephoto LensHaving a good quality telephoto lens in your travel kit is a big plus for landscape photography. Sometimes you just need that tighter close-up shot to get more detailed photos. I would recommend a 70-200mm telephoto zoom lens because of its versatility. You can get a little longer, like a 100-400mm, but it adds weight and costs a lot more. The 70-200mm f/2.8L is what I use, but it’s also the heaviest lens in my kit.
Frozen flowers with a Telephoto or Macro Photography Lens
  • I use Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM telephoto lens for my travel photography. This lens gives me an impressive image quality and focuses accurately very fast. It has a 4-stop image stabilization, weather sealing, and has become one of my favorite and most-used lenses. I love the image stabilization on this lens which helps me to obtain sharp images even while I’m hand-holding the camera.

So, for travel photography, it’s better to try and focus on getting a smaller number of lenses that work well in a wide variety of situations. That way, you are more likely to take them with you and use them.

Fotor 300x250

Camera Bags for Travel Photography

There are a lot of camera bags on the market today and so many options to choose from. It can get a bit confusing trying to figure out which one is the best bag for travel photography. Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all solution, so you must do your research. Being a travel photographer means you have to look at not only size; but also… do you need one that’s completely waterproof, crush-proof, designed for climbing rocks as well as hiking? If you are swimming through the Zion Park Narrows – then that’s a completely different story.

Landscape photography by Peter Dulis

The following are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Do I want the bag to be multi-functional so it can act as both a camera bag and a day pack?
  • Do I want to carry a laptop computer or tablet in the bag?
  • Do I need a trolley strap included so you can attach it to rolling luggage?

Camera backpacks are one of the most popular options for carrying around your gear, but you may also consider a shoulder bag. Sling bags that have one strap offer quick and easy access to a camera. Holster cases are designed to be used with a camera and a single lens if you want a lightweight option for biking. Spending money on the right bag to protect your gear is cheaper in the long run. So which bag is the best bag for you?

Long exposure travel photography using a tripod – Niagara Falls, Canada

I think it’s best to take your gear to the store and try out a bunch of camera bags – that’s what I did. So, here’s what I use:

  • My Lowepro Classified 160 AW shoulder bag is great for one camera plus three lenses and goes with me everywhere. Plus, the bag is easy to store in overhead bins on a flight.
  • The Alta Access 28X shoulder bag is what I pull out when I have a few extra lenses to haul around. The bag effortlessly carries a professional gear kit which consists of my Canon 6D DSLR, 4-5 lenses (up to 70-200mm), a flash, and a multitude of accessories. It also is no problem to store in overhead bins on a flight.
  • I also use a Lowepro holster bag when I’m biking. It provides good protection in a small package for my camera and attached lens.
Nomatic

Other Useful Travel Photography Accessories

  • I highly recommend carrying a lightweight carbon fiber photography tripod. I love my Sirui T-025SK carbon fiber travel tripod. It’s super lightweight and folds up into a 12-inch length. It’s maybe not the sturdiest of tripods, but it’s so much easier to carry around when hiking and biking.
  • I also carry a circular polarizer filter which helps to reduce reflections and glare by filtering out light that has become polarized due to reflection from a non-metallic surface. It cuts down on certain types of light in a way that can benefit your images.
  • 6 to 10 Stop ND filters can be really useful for landscape photography when you want to slow down your shutter speed to capture creative landscape photos.
Wide Angle Lens Photography from Jokusarlon, Iceland

Not Just Camera Gear

Besides camera gear, it is also important for travel photographers to dress properly to handle cold and stormy weather. When I’m out and about and the temperatures start falling, there’s nothing better than a great winter jacket. I love my Eider Men’s Lillehammer III Jacket with underarm air vents in case it gets really hot. Good, waterproof hiking boots and thick wool socks are critical. I have owned a pair of Guardo boots for about one year and love them. They’re stylish, comfy, warm, and have a super grip on slippery surfaces. I find that if you don’t want to get sick, keep your head, chest, and feet warm. This merino wool t-shirt is top quality and offers great warmth.

Travel photography isn’t just about making photographs; it’s about choosing a life of curiosity, exploration, and wonder… immersing yourself in the world around you. If you want to be an effective travel photographer, it is important to carry the right photography equipment and know how to use it. I hope you find these tips useful to get started. Do you have any questions? If so feel free to ask them in the comments below:

Having had the privilege of working with Canon Canada for 14 years, I’ve had a chance to meet & work with some incredible photographers and printing experts. Their stories and experiences have changed the way I look at things. Photography isn’t just about making photographs; it’s about choosing a life of curiosity, exploration, wonder, and immersing yourself in the world around you. Follow our adventures at – www.photographyadventures.ca and get your FREE e-book today – “5 Truly Amazing Places to Visit Before it’s too late!

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Gentilly Fest

New Orleans LA

For this particular festival, the stage backdrop could not have been better.

This gospel choir was performing in a huge tent. Very dark. I shot shutter priority and set auto ISO. From this focal length, the grain is seems to be relatively low.

Using a telephoto lens in this scenario has its challenges. I have to use high shutter speeds to avoid focus blur. Somehow in this shot, my subject was dancing and her action was basically frozen. yet the passerby shows motion.

Candid shots of participants are my personal favorites.

Sometimes you just have to DANCE!


Get Seasons | Desktop by Rebecca Stice as Photoshop Actions or Lightroom Presets

All photos from this event were shot with; my first generation Nikon Z6 mirrorless, coupled with my Nikon 18-300 mm zoom.

I chose this particular setup for two main reasons; it allows wide-angle shots of the stage as well as crowd interaction. Secondly, I am able to quickly get long range candid portrait shoots. (my favorite) I had to park quite a way from the event so I chose not to carry any other equipment. Very wise choice!

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Gospel Brunch…Ground Zero…Biloxi MS

I was given the amazing opportunity to do my thing with Low Light Photography. Low-Light Event Photography is one of my favorite genres.

I think I enjoy the challenge. In order to create a photo, the main ingredient is of course LIGHT. And, as you can see there is very little of it.

My low-light photography requires some degree of post-processing. I use several programs including PhotoShop. (considered by most to be the Holy Grail)

Sometimes I go a little further. In this photo, I used Photoshop and PhotoScape. PhotoScape has been my “escape” from Photoshop’s demanding learning curve. PhotoScape’s main drawback seems to be its approach to layering.

When shooting any event. I am constantly looking for opportunities to showcase crowd interaction and emotion.

I try really hard to not use flash. (sometimes it’s impossible) I am constantly looking for ambient light. I try to stay completely away from flash!

When I absolutely have to, I pray for walls to bounce the light. Oh yeah, I often use flash for promo shots with the artist, before or after the performance.

From a personal point of view, this is my favorite shot. Black and White, contrast, showing texture, and illuminated with ambient light.

I began this shoot using my first generation Nikon Z6 Mirrorless, coupled with my Tamron 24-70mm, f2.8. Later I switched to my Nikon 18-300mm FX lens. Not known for its low light capabilities, but excellent for long-range candid shots. I ended my session with my go-to; Nikon 50mm, f1.8 Prime.

In conclusion, I would like to thank the Owners and Management not only for the opportunity to practice my craft but also for the opportunity to participate in an event for such a worthy cause; The Mississippi Center for Autism and Developmental Disorders.

Watch for upcoming opportunities to support Brest Cancer Awareness and Research During the month of October. Ground Zero’s integration into the Biloxi community is having a phenomenally positive impact!



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Urban Stroll…

Houston TX…..H Town

sometimes you just look up and you just SEE things….

In my beginning attempts to enjoy this particular niche within the scope of “urban architectural street photography”(my terminology), I quickly realized that you must keep your head on a swivel.

Keep an EYE out for perspectives that just jump out at you. They are everywhere, left, right, UP, and down. By the way; when they jump out at you, please UNDERSTAND, it came from “with-in.”

This caught MY eye. The foliage seems to envelop the buildings in the background. Not only creating a natural frame but, also adding to the feeling of depth.

I absolutely Love the color contrast in this shot. Looks like October to me, this was actually taken on Christmas Eve 2021.

reflections everywhere….

I shoot around water often, and the reflections always suck me in. Be careful, they will get you too!

i call this “symmetrical lines”

I have always been taught to use and follow lines. Which ones should I follow?

sometimes i just get real crazy….for some reason i like it this way….

When I returned to the hotel, downloaded, and began to sort, I realized immediately that CONTRAST identified with my Spirit. Light, Color, and Geometrical contrast is what made this shoot unique to me.

When I continued to sort through, I realized that the sky was very flat. Actually, this is one of the first things I noticed when I began my stroll. I remember thinking, that “I will just add clouds during post-processing” Which is simple enough to do.

So I added clouds to a few shots and realized that “I” liked the contrast between the structures and a blue sky. The results speak for themselves.

I thoroughly enjoyed my stroll downtown ” H Town”. When you get to a place in life where you truly enjoy what you do; it truly brings your Being (YOU) to “Heaven On Earth”. I am truly GRATEFUL!

Health Wealth & Love! Lump

All photos were taken with Nikon Z6 (first generation mirrorless), coupled with a Tamron 24-70; F2.8)

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How to choose the images you want to sell online

Author

Philip Mowbray

Philip is the Editor of Focus. View all articles

You’ve decided you want to take the plunge and start selling your photos, so what’s the first step? Well, you want to begin with your core product -and that is of course your images

Contents:

– Overview
– Different types of customers & their image needs
– Get to know image licensing
– Best practices for selecting photos for your store
– The best workflow tricks to select your images
– Pricing

Overview

The process of taking an image and then selling that image are both very different and there are a few key points to consider before you jump into the world of selling photography.

First, you should consider what it is exactly you want to gain from selling your images, having goals in mind will help you stay accountable for the work you put in. How should also consider how you want your images to be used, and also, how you want to appear as a photographer – a lot of this will come from the images you choose to make available for sale and how your storefront appears to customers.

We recommend thinking about yourself those questions before you start looking through your images for what to sell, and getting your plans ready for your store.

The different types of customers & their image needs

A lot of the success from selling your images depends on the type of customer your photography is suitable for, and how you market to them. As we’ve mentioned above, the type of images sold for wall art tend to very different to images used for commercial or editorial use and it’s important to keep this in mind.

If you’re unsure about a particular market that your photography might cater to, or you want to sell your images to all types of customer that’s absolutely fine, and in fact, this is what most photographers do. It’s just worth noting the different types of customers, to ensure that your offering is the best it can be, and it’s also the best way to start thinking about how to select images.

Generally speaking, photography customers fall into these three types:

Commercial

These customers purchase images for the purpose of ad campaigns, marketing collateral, products and so forth – basically anything that has a commercial objective associated with it.

Usually, commercial customers are be looking for technically sound, good-quality images that are a true representation of the subject. What we mean by this, is images that are natural-looking and haven’t had too many filters or edits applied to them. Commercial customers normally apply their own edits to fit with their campaign or product – so allowing them that flexibility will, ultimately, increase your chances of selling.

See more detailed tips on how to prepare photos for commercial use with our dedicated guide – and you may find that when it comes to your shooting habits or the type of image you find most aesthetically pleasing, this is where personal tastes can differ.

Commercial buyers might use your images for marketing and advertising campaigns, and you never know – you could even see you image on a billboard! Photo by Levent Arslan

Editorial

These are customers that will use license your images for things like magazines, book covers, online articles and so on. And similar to commercial customers, editorial customers generally need clean, neutral and natural-looking images that accurately represent the subject.

Editorial customers are likely to use your images to illustrate their features and publications. Having your image on the cover of a magazine is one of the most prestigious ways your images can be used. Photo by Leon Puplett
Top tips from the pros:

“Always think about editorial space – this is ‘empty’ or clean areas of images where text can be added for advertising and page layouts. For instance, if shooting a landscape format image, compose with the subject on one half of the frame rather than in the middle. For portrait format images, leave space above and below the subject.”

– James Abbott, Professional Photographer and Writer

Personal

Private customers looking for images for personal use, usually for their wall can make up significant slice of a photographer’s revenue stream and it’s often an area that’s overlooked.

This is where you can be a bit more creative too, as generally, the more bold and striking your images are, the better they are for wall art. There’s still some general rules for what makes a good image for wall art, which you can read about in our dedicated guide.

Private customers (i.e. those buying your images for personal use or wall art) can make up a substantial part of your customer base, and shouldn’t be overlooked. Photo by Jason Kessenich

Get to know image licensing

When you’re selling images in an online environment, whether that’s something you do of your own accord, or via an agency or library, you’re almost always going to be selling them on a licence basis.

Image licensing refers to the practice of selling a license to use your image in a specific way, rather than selling your photo outright to a buyer. It is the industry-standard method for selling photos for editorial, commercial and advertising use, as well as wall art in the form of a personal licence. Licenses typically take the form of an agreement which stipulates precisely the terms in which the buyer can use your image in return for the fee. Licenses are used to give you, as the photographer, greater control over how your images are used. They also protect your copyright.

So to clarify, when someone purchases a licence for your photo, it means that they cannot use the image in any way they wish, or claim the image as their own. They’ve bought a licence to use your photo in a specific way, not the image itself.

Further reading:

We have a beginner’s guide which breaks down exactly what image licensing means when selling photography – and we’d recommend you read this in full.

“When you’re selling images in an online environment, whether that’s something you do of your own accord, or via an agency or library, you’re almost always going to be selling them on a licence basis.”

Best practices for selecting photos for your store


Think about your buyers first

Taking the above information in mind, look through your images and ask yourself the question, who would buy that image? How might a customer use this image? Getting into this mindset will help you the best select your shots.

Less is more

While it can be tempting to include your entire library of images, you really want to be showing only your best work – it will make your offering stand out much more.

Having a finely-curated selection of images in your portfolio will show you’re careful and considerate about what you’re displaying. Browsing photography should be a pleasing experience for the viewer – nobody wants to sift through hundreds of images to find what they are looking for, you should be guiding their eye right away to what they should be buying.

It might take a bit of tough love to whittle down your images, and it can also take time, being able to critique your own photos is a skill to learn, but it’s important to do, and it will help you with your photography development. You should also ask your peers, friends and family for feedback and their thoughts too – having an objective eye on your images can be really refreshing.

But you still need a good number of images

While it pays to be selective with what you include in your portfolio, you also need to ensure that your image offering isn’t tiny. What we mean by this, is that it’s unrealistic to expect that having a portfolio or store with just a few images will reap huge rewards for you. The more (curated) photos on your site, the bigger the chance that you’ll have an image that connects with a buyer.

If you’re just starting out and only have a small number of images that you feel are your best, that’s fine–but if that’s the case, get out there and start shooting more so you can build up your portfolio.

Quality matters

Choose your most technically-sound images. Look at your shots at 100% to check they aren’t out of focus, blurry or have any other defects. Selling a bad quality image could easily land you with an unhappy customer, and repeat business might make up a significant amount of your revenue over time.

You also want to make sure that your images have a good level of sharpness. Also, make sure they are free of heavy noise artefacts, usually caused by high ISO settings.

Video tutorial:

See how to best sharpen your photos (and not oversharpen them) with our demonstration.

The bigger the better

Choose the biggest possible size for your images in terms of pixels as this will open up their selling potential. Larger images will allow for a greater scope of use, for example, larger print sizes. We’d recommend sticking to the original size of the image as much as possible.

If the original image size isn’t very large (as is the case with some smartphone images), you can use Photoshop’s Super Resolution feature to increase the image size without compromising on overall quality.

Video tutorial:

See how to use Photoshop’s Super Resolution feature with our video tutorial.

Authenticity is key

Customers, whether they are commercial, editorial or personal will expect your images to be authentic and a true representation of the scene. Keeping your edits small and simple, actually increases their commercial potential.

Video tutorial:

See the signs that you may be overediting your images as demonstrated in our video.

Customers, whether they are commercial, editorial or personal will expect your images to be authentic and a true representation of the scene.”

Show off what makes you original


Your very best images should be what you display on your store and in your portfolio. The images that you are the most proud of, worked the hardest to get, those serendipitous moments – all should be included. Customers want to see what makes you and your work original. And with this in mind, being able to develop a unique style over time could help you immensely in the long run.

Work in series

If you work in lots of different photographic areas, or have images based on specific locations, subjects, or events – you should select and sort them based on their series (and subsequently display them as a set). Also, this way, if someone is looking for a specific type of image, you’re guiding them to a place with more similarly-themed images to browse and choose from!

Top tips from the professionals:

“Always capture images in both landscape and portrait format if it suits the subject; this gives buyers more options if they’re looking for a specific format.”

– 
James Abbott, Professional Photographer and Writer

The best workflow tricks to help you select your images

Image editing programmes like Adobe Lightroom and CaptureOne are perfect for helping you identify what images you want to sell with their handy workflow tools, you’ll see a couple of them below. The following are specific to Lightroom, but they also aren’t dissimilar to other workflow programs and in general, will all follow the same processes.

Adobe Lightroom is an excellent resource for managing and organizing your image workflow

Import all of your images & review in one place

This is the best way to start to go through all of the images you’ve taken; to help decide what you want to include in your store. Also, it’s always a good idea to take another look through your older images too, as you may find that you’ll discover some hidden gems you disregarded the last time round.

Create Lightroom Collections

Simply put, Collections in Lightroom are a way that you can group images into a set. In this case, you can use collections to group images, for example, based on your favorites, or images ideal for wall art, editorial or commercial use. This again will help you whittle down the images you want to include.

Use the Ratings system

This is where you can give your photos a star rating between 1 – 5, so for example, you can quickly and easily rate images a particular number to mark those you want to add to your store or portfolio. You can also sort views by ratings so you can see how all of your images look together.

Export your images in one go

When you’re ready to create the files to upload to your store and/ or portfolio you can export them to dedicated folders and locations which means you wont risk missing important settings for some of your files.

How to price your images

Choosing the price you want to sell your images is a very personal choice, and ultimately it’ll be down to you to decide. But it’s also worth doing some market research to make sure you’re not pricing yourself out of the market.

Look at other photographers who shoot similar subjects to you and see how they are pricing their images. It also helps to think about the lowest amount you would be happy with for your shots and work your way up from that figure.

That doesn’t mean you should be undervaluing your work, however, and sometimes photography should warrant a high price to reflect your hard work. Particularly if the image shows a rare subject, or if it was complex or challenging to photograph.

The photography world is ever-evolving and changing, so with this make sure you review your prices constantly too.

The Ultimate Guide to Selling Your Photography

Everything you need to know to start selling your photography online, drawn from decades of experience from industry leaders, professional photographers, and Focus’ in-house experts.

Continue Reading:

Where to sell your photos online

All articles from this series

Links and resources to help you sell your photography

The dos, dont’s, & best practices for selling your photography

Ideas for how to diversify your photography business

How to grow your photography store

How to keep the momentum with selling your photography

How to set up and launch a photography store

Where to sell your photos online

How to choose the images you want to sell online

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The Keys to Clarity

How to create success on your own terms

JEFF KENT • PPA…….AUGUST 2022 ISSUE

We all get frustrated in our work sometimes. Often, that dissatisfaction stems from a lack of clarity in our purpose and our actions. But what if you could learn how to focus on the right actions, for the right reasons, and in the right order? What if you could start moving forward in your business with a clearer, more defined objective?

Debbie Peterson is a certified trainer and master practitioner in neurolinguistic programming through the Association of Integrative Psychology. She’s also a nationally recognized speaker and the author of “Clarity: How Smart Professionals Create Career Success on Their Terms.” In her book, coaching, and speaking engagements Peterson asserts that even the most confused entrepreneurs can achieve clarity by taking a few basic steps in their approach to work. It starts by focusing on five key elements:

Move away from thoughts like Why is this happening to me? and think about what you want to do to improve your situation.

1. Mindset. Focus on the things you want rather than the things you don’t want. It takes time to change your mindset, but it’s possible with consistent daily effort. The process begins with how you start your day. When you wake up in the morning, do you focus on everything that could go wrong, or do you focus on opportunities? Move away from thoughts like Why is this happening to me? and think about what you want to do to improve your situation. This is an empowering process of taking control of your thoughts and your future.

2. Passion. What do you want and why? Do you have clarity in the direction of your business? What is the overall goal for your business? Knowing the answers to these questions is important because it helps you tell your mind what you want to find.

3. Planning. Get your plans out of your head and onto paper. Write it down; sketch is out. Set SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-based) and plan out ways you will gain better clarity in your work.

4. People. Who can help you reach your goals? You need a support network, people who understand you and raise you up. Fill your inner circle with people who can help you get what you want. If you feel like you need to figure it out all by yourself, you’ll get stuck. Remember the proverb: If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.

5. Performance. What gets in the way of your success—fear of failure, time management, other people? Think about whether you have control or influence over those things. This is important because success comes by choice, not by chance. Are you putting your time and energy into what you want or into the obstacles that are blocking your progress? You get to choose, so choose wisely.

PRIORITIZE TO THRIVE

Once you’ve organized your process around the five keys to clarity, Peterson recommends getting specific about the work you’re doing and the order in which you’re doing it. She suggests making a career bucket list. Write down all the things you want to do in your business, then divvy them into A, B, and C buckets:

  • A is critical.
  • B is important.
  • C is interesting but can wait.

“The key here is to divide them equally, so you’re forced to prioritize rather than dumping everything into the critical bucket,” says Peterson. Within each bucket, prioritize again. List each task in order of importance so you have A1, A2, A3, etc. When you’re done, you’ll have an ordered list of tasks you can tackle one after another rather than drowning in endless, cluttered lists.

You can use the bucket list exercise across many areas in your business, from to-do lists to long-term strategic plans. Peterson goes through this process weekly for her regular to-do list and at longer intervals (every few months) for long-term planning.

THE POWER OF THREE

When you run through the bucket list exercise, you’ll have an orderly list organized by importance. Next, think about the three things you can do every day to help you achieve your A1 goal. Then move on to the A2 goal and the three things you can do to accomplish that. “Every single day you are focusing on what’s most important for your business, and you’re making an agreement with yourself to move toward that goal,” says Peterson. This process helps alleviate the all-or-nothing thinking that overwhelms people. Instead of looking at everything you must do and getting overwhelmed, divide your workload into prioritized lists and give yourself the ability to tackle them one at a time.


8 STEPS TO FOCUS YOUR BRAIN

1. Recognize your brain’s limits. Prevent overload by eliminating as many distractions as you can.

2. Stop trying to multitask. You can’t do more than one thing at a time. It takes time for your brain to switch between two things.

3. Write a to-do list. Relieve your mental load by putting tasks and worries on paper instead of letting yourself ruminate.

4. Identify motivators. When you’re avoiding a task, think about the benefits of getting it done to stop procrastinating.

5. Zone out with exercise. Physical activity can increase dopamine, which drives your brain, but let your mind wander to recharge your concentration.

6. Cut the clutter. A messy environment commands your brain’s attention, making it more challenging to focus.

7. Seek some quiet. Research shows that auditory distractions can be disruptive to a brain that’s trying to focus.

8. Tip up a coffee, tea, or caffeinated soda. There’s a reason caffeine is the most widely consumed drug in the world. It works.

Source: “How to Use Science to Focus at Work,” wired.co


YOUR MODEL FOR SUCCESS

Clarity comes from within. Unfortunately, a lot of us look elsewhere when assessing success, and this can confuse the process. To reach a state of clarity in your work, figure out what works for you, and determine your own model of success instead of measuring yourself by what others find important. Peterson recommends taking three steps to establish your own measuring stick:

1. Understand your core business values. What does your business stand for? Determine your core values, then build an experience around what you want to create. Ask yourself how you want to feel throughout the day and what experiences you want to have within your business. Think about times when you felt motivated, when there was a natural flow to your work. That was an experience. Identify those times and work to build more of them into your work.

2. Run your own race. We all get caught up comparing ourselves to everything else we see. But what does success mean to you? Pause to truly consider this question. Then write down the answer and make it one of your goals. Otherwise, you’ll just be chasing others’ (often unattainable) visions of success.

3. Partner with the right people. Your ideal partners will fall into two camps: the people who surround you and the people who support you. The people who surround you are the folks who make up your inner circle. However, not everyone who is with us is for us. Sometimes you need to evaluate your inner circle and make sure you’re surrounded by people who believe in you. The people who support you are individuals who are trying to create something similar to what you’re trying to create. Tap into the experience and motivation of others who are on the same path. When like-minded people come together and focus on each one in turn, action is sparked. You can tap into the momentum of the group and hold each other accountable.

CONTINUING THE JOURNEY

Clarity is a journey, not a destination. This is a rinse-and-repeat system designed to help people continue down the path toward clarity while reaching important milestones along the way. Every time there’s a challenge or a new step in your business, Peterson recommends going back to the five keys to clarity:

  1. Consider your mindset.
  2. Figure out what you really want (your passion).
  3. Make a plan.
  4. Find the people who can help you.
  5. Focus on your performance.

Going back to this process, again and again, helps provide context; it defines who you are as a businessperson and what you want to achieve. When you do that, the markers start lining up, and the path forward becomes clear. You start making your own answers to questions that previously befuddled you.

“Having clarity helps you rebound and reach your potential,” says Peterson. “And you have far more potential than you realize.”

Jeff Kent is editor-at-large

Tags: bridging the gap 

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5 ways to photograph castles, monuments and ancient ruins

Author

Jamie Carter

Cover image by Conor Molloy

Cover image by Conor Molloy

5 top tips for taking competition-worthy photos of incredible old buildings, structures and standing stones often found within stunning landscapes

From grand castles and imposing stately homes to crumbling ancient cities and lonely standing stones, the world is awash with historical ruins if you care to go searching for them. They can be tricky to photograph, but you don’t have to travel far and wide; there are likely some castles, churches, abbeys and ruins close to where you live.

Before making a big trip abroad to a ‘honeypot’ site, practice your skills locally, but do check opening times, car park fees and entry fees ahead of time. Here are some of our top tips to get you started…

Capture castles in context

Is the castle on a hill overlooking an epic landscape? Is there a moat around it? Is a drawbridge its visual highlight? Although castles are traditionally seen as grand military structures that were designed to be imposing, they were usually built in places that gave the inhabitants wide-ranging views and early site of any approaching invaders. Many are also surrounded by landscaped grounds. Either way, try to capture the connection between a castle and the environment it exists in.

If you want to get a castle in context then consider using a wide-angle lens, which will enable you to get more into your composition and keep it sharp. Depending on how wide-angle it is you may be able to approach the castle and capture it from close in while still placing it in its environment.

Try to capture the connection between a castle and the environment it exists in. Photo by Daniel Springgay – f/11 | 1/40s | ISO 100

Author tip:

Before you start shooting take a stroll around the grounds, getting a feel for what’s around and what you might want to include in your shots. Resist the temptation to start shooting immediately; take your time and investigate the site for details you might want to emphasise. Read about the building’s history, if only to decide what the most important structures are, and how they’re normally photographed. 

Give standing stones some space


There are thousands of prehistoric circles, standing stones, henges and burial chambers throughout the UK and Europe, yet they can be difficult to photograph. A lot depends on what’s around them; some are surrounded by flat grassland while others are on peninsulas, on tops of peaks, or nestled in forests. Your position is everything since standing circles, for example, don’t tend to look much more than a bunch of stones unless it’s captured from above, or at least an elevated position on a nearby hill.

Position is everything when it comes to monuments like standing circles, experiment with different angles and vantage points so you can find the perfect composition that gives the monument justice. Photo by Conor Molloy – f/13 | 1/13s | ISO 200

Author tip:

Do your research before you visit, not only about the monument’s environment, but about theories on its history and function. If you’re going to photograph a burial chamber that’s aligned with the rising Sun, consider visiting at sunrise to shoot a ‘sun star’ shot. You can do that by using a large aperture and a slow shutter speed. 

Create an unusual composition

Looking for something that no one has seen before in an ancient monument, and getting the shot right, is difficult. But it’s what good photography is all about. Sometimes it can be something as simple – at least in retrospect – as capturing a reflection and turning it upside down (see above). Another way to treat this same shot could be to capture it at night and have stars reflecting in the river.

Find interesting items for the foreground of your image. Vary your height; take shots from low to the ground for an unusual point of view. Look for leading lines in walls, pathways, drawbridges and corridors.

While the wide-angle shot has likely been done before many times, where you can do something new is with close-ups. So pack a zoom lens, which will allow you to isolate architectural details from crumbling walls to rusty door handles. Try to shoot through a window or upwards where the roof used to be. 

Avoid clichés and find a way to put your personal spin when when photographing well-known landmarks. Photo by Peter Warson – f/8 | 1/250s | ISO 200

Author tip:

Look beyond the cliches. The photos on the postcard or guidebook cover and the ones to avoid, not the ones to replicate. If there are lots of visitors, avoid getting them in your photos by watching where they’re going and heading to the other end of the site. It can also be worth finding out if the monument in question is illuminated at night; if it’s not you could try some long exposures that include stars or possibly, in summer, the Milky Way.

4 Wait for an unexpected event

A legion of photographers have taken shots of Stonehenge at day and at night. Sure, there are literally 360º opportunities to take something different even from a distance, but they mostly end up looking very similar.

So wait for something genuinely different to happen in the sky above. That could be an eclipse of the Moon or the Sun, or it could be something not predicted by science at all, like the arrival of a comet. That happened for just a few weeks in July 2020, with savvy photographers heading to the old stones to get a shot of Comet F3 Neowise. For many it was a simple repeat of a shot they had mastered years before, but with the added bonus of a space rock hurtling through the sky above.

For a truly spectacular shot, wait for a rare or unexpected event taking place near over the the place you want to photograph – such as when Comet Neowise was seen over Stonehenge in 2020. Photo by Ben Sasson

Author tip:

If the sky above is all-important when photographing monuments from afar, the weather is your friend. If there are clear blue skies a polariser will enhance them and also help reduce reflections. Clouds can often be exaggerated to seem like a bubbling storm. Sunrise is a great time to be at ancient monuments, not least for the possibility of rising mist, which can add an ethereal dimension to your inherently mysterious subject. It also maximises your chance of being there alone. Close to sunset you may spot crepuscular rays in the west. 

Get off the beaten track

Head to Angkor Wat, the Colosseum, the Pyramids or Machu Picchu and you’ll have to constantly battle crowds, queues and restrictive opening times. That’s going to reduce your chances of taking original shots. The more popular they are the less likely they are to allow in tripods, while some ban photography altogether (or charge extra for photography permits). Better to head to lesser known, but equally as dramatic sites where you’ll have lots of time and the place to yourself.

Get off the beaten track to find lesser-known monuments where you’ll have the place to yourself. Circular Inca ruins at Moray in the Sacred Valley near Cusco, Peru. Photo by Jeff Kraft – f/5.6 | 1/200s | ISO 200

Author tip:

Although most famous monuments have something lesser known and just as picturesque close by (such as Beng Mealea north of Angkor Wat, and Kuélap, Llactapacta and Choquequirao close to Machu Picchu in the Sacred Valley), you can find UNESCO World Heritage Sites sprinkled throughout the world. 

  • AuthorJamie Carter

Jamie Carter is a journalist and author focusing on stargazing and astronomy, astrophotography, and travel for Forbes Science, BBC Sky At Night magazine, Sky & Telescope, Travel+Leisure, and The Telegraph.View all articles

Photography by subject

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10 Best Photo Editing Tips for a Faster Workflow

by Jenn Mishra

Do you enjoy taking photos but find yourself buried in unprocessed images? This article is for you! I’m going to give you my top 10 photo editing tips for speeding up your workflow.

I do most of my post-processing in Adobe Lightroom. But the basic principles apply regardless of the editing software you use.

The goal is to get from import to export efficiently. Don’t lose your photographic mojo or let your favourite photography gather digital dust.

10. Fix Your Images In-Camera to Save Time

Often, you will take a photo knowing that you’ll have to fix something later in post-processing.

But if you can fix it now in-camera, you don’t have to fix it later. With a quick spin of a dial, you can change the exposure. Zoom in for a tighter crop. Straighten that horizon line. It’s better than fussing with straightening it later in post-processing. Especially if you have to adjust 100 horizon lines individually.

You can make adjustments later. But why wait until tomorrow for something that you can do today?

Save on post-processing time by slowing down in the field and looking at the scene. You’ll probably need to take fewer shots to get the one you want.

The closer the in-camera image is to your final image, the less post-processing you have to do.

Images by Jenn Mishra

9. Use Import & Export Tools

Set up your editing software to do things automatically. Lightroom’s import and export tools are a great place to start.

On import, you can add global keywords and metadata like titles and copyright information. Keywording is a pain, but you can’t find your images unless you keyword. By taking a few seconds to apply keywords on import, you will save a lot of time later.

I have a lot of options in the righthand panel of the import screen in Lightroom.

You can even add a develop preset which applies your favourite settings to the imports.  You can tweak settings later, but lay the foundation of your post-processing edits on import.

When you’ve finished working, you also have export tools. You can rename images and apply output sharpening. Lightroom makes the changes automatically. You don’t have to think about it.

8. Have a System to Find Your Images Faster

I’ve wasted a lot of time looking for images. If I only had a few, I could probably remember where I put them. But after 1,000 (or 100,000), I need a system for storing images.

Put files in a place where you can find them later. It doesn’t matter what your system is, it’s having the system that’s important. An example of this might be Photographs>Wedding>2018.07.15 – Scott & Wendy.

Speeding up your workflow isn’t just about faster post-processing. It’s about having images at your fingertips when you need them.

Images by Jenn Mishra

7. Edit Only the Best Images

Photographers who fly through post-processing aren’t spending time on each and every photo. They only work on the best of the best.

This means having an effective culling strategy. Culling means deleting photos that didn’t work and targeting ones that did.

Rank your favourites with hearts, colors, flags, or stars. I go through my images quickly to make an initial selection. Then I do it again, narrowing down my favourites. My top shots get more stars. You don’t have to use my system but have a system.

I use a system of flags and stars in Lightroom to find my best images. Only my 3-star images get full post-processing treatment.

I’m only going to post-process my favourites. I’ve been burned too often. I’ve post-processed an image only to find better light or composition on the next image.

To make this process faster, use a tool like Photo Mechanic. This is a program designed specifically to speed up the culling process.

Post-processing only the best of the best will greatly speed up your workflow.

6. Eliminate Keystrokes

Photo adjustments can be highly repetitious. Use any keyboard shortcuts offered by your post-processing program.

If you are able to do with one keystroke that would normally take two, you’ve saved yourself time and energy. It might not seem like a lot but think of all those thousands of photos in your catalogue. A one-second keystroke becomes a lot when multiplied by a 1000 or 100,000.

For instance, use Lightroom’s Auto-Advance function. To activate this, place a checkmark next to Photo>Auto-Advance. When you add a flag or star during culling, Lightroom automatically advances to the next image. This saves you hundreds of keystrokes each time you cull images.

Images by Jenn Mishra

There are many Lightroom shortcuts. “X” for reject. “D” to switch to the Develop Module. “V” to convert to black and white. Here’s a complete list of Lightroom shortcuts.

5. Use Presets and Auto For Quick Adjustments

It’s quicker to tweak adjustments than apply them from scratch. Start post-processing by using auto options or presets.

The auto-icon usually looks like a magic wand. The software analyzes your image and makes changes. You can check to see what settings Lightroom recommends by clicking the auto button in the Basic panel. If you don’t like the results, you can always undo the changes.

I like a lot of the settings Lightroom suggests, but others I tweak. I tend to like a lot more contrast than Lightroom suggests.

Final image by Jenn Mishra.

Presets or filters apply a look to your photography with one click. You can download filters or make your own. In Lightroom, you can save favourite settings as a preset. To do this, click the “+” next to the Presets panel in the Develop module. Select Create Preset.

Lightroom screenshot showing how to create a preset.

In Photoshop, I save a series of commands as an action.

Saving settings as a preset means that I can apply these with one click.

4. Use Batch-Editing

You may often photograph a series of photos in the same scene or with the same subject. They will have similar lighting and camera settings. There’s no need to post-process each image separately. Instead, batch edit.

Batch editing means post-processing more than one photo at a time.

There are a couple of ways you can do this in Lightroom. You can copy and paste the settings or use the Sync button.

Start by editing one photo.

To copy your settings, select the image you’ve edited and go to Edit>Copy (Ctrl or ⌘C). A dialogue box will appear asking which settings you want to copy. You can check all or individual settings. Then select an unedited image and paste the settings Edit>Paste (Ctrl or ⌘V).

To sync settings, select all similar photos starting with the photo you’ve edited. Click the Sync button in the Develop module. That’s it! Your settings will be applied to all of the photos. It doesn’t matter if you selected two or two hundred.

3. Streamline Your Editing Process

Once you start editing images, have a system. It doesn’t matter what that system looks like – just that you do the same adjustments in the same order.

Some photographers go straight down the Develop Module panel in Lightroom. They fix the Basic settings first, then move down the list. Skip over the settings that don’t apply to your photographic style.

My first change is composition. I crop the image. There’s nothing worse than removing dust spots, straightening lines, and adding a vignette – only to then crop out my hard work. After cropping, I move onto contrast, highlights, shadows, color, and details.

Images by Jenn Mishra

Decide on the settings that you care about most and make changes in the same order. If you often have to go back to readjust a setting, change the order. For instance, adding dehaze often darkens the image. This means I have to readjust exposure. The more you can automate your editing, the faster you will be.

2. Edit on the Go

I have found myself sitting on a plane, train, or bus home from a session, itching to start post-production. Put that time to work.

Set up a mobile post-processing workspace on a laptop or mobile device. This won’t necessarily replace your primary workspace, but you can get started editing. By the time you’re home, you can have your images imported into Lightroom, added keywords, and started culling.

1. Be Decisive

When I think about the things that slow down my workflow, I have to admit that most of the time it’s me.

There are a thousand ways to edit a digital image. I am at my most efficient in post-processing when I’m decisive. I waste time when I vacillate between possibilities. There’s no harm in trying a few different ways of post-processing an image. But then I need to make a choice.

It’s easier if I only have two choices in front of me. This photo or that? This white balance or that?

Images by Jenn Mishra

There is no right way of post-processing an image. It only matters that you like it.

Conclusion

There you go. My top ten photo editing tips to speed up your workflow. This article is more about streamlining how you deal with your images than on how to edit photos. Spending more time at the beginning of the process will stop time being wasted later on.

I use these tips when it comes to my work, and it took a while for the process to become streamlined. Find your own way and share your tips in the comments below.

Want to learn more? See our Effortless Editing with Lightroom course. 

Want More? Try Our Lightroom Processing Course

Do you know how to use Lightroom to bring out the details hidden inside your images?

Lightroom is a great program, but with countless sliders and tools… it’s hard to know how (and when) to use each of them.

That’s why we’ve created the most complete and up-to-date training on Lightroom

Jenn Mishra

Jenn Mishra is a fine art travel and landscape photographer based in the St. Louis metro area. Jenn is an active photographic educator and has been invited to speak at conferences such as Out of Chicago. Her photos have been featured in a number of solo exhibitions. Her studio is Wits End Photography. You can see more of Jenn’s photo at http://www.jennifermishra.com or visit her Instagram @jennatwitsendMore By Jenn Mishra >

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6 of the best location-scouting apps and websites for all photographers

By

Jamie Carter

Need some inspiration? Or have you got a great photo location you want to share with other photographers? These apps and websites will do just the job

Discover the best apps below to help you find the perfect locations for your photography. Photo by by Jaromir Chalabala

Finding amazing places to explore with your camera can be challenging particularly if you’re after something unusual. Thankfully there are plenty of apps that will help, from those offering simple inspiration and directions to others that will help you plan when to be there and at what time to get a specific kind of shot.

Here are some of the best location-scouting apps to help you find a great place to take your camera…

1 Atlas Obscura


Although it’s not specifically aimed at photographers, Atlas Obscura is hugely useful if you’re after something unusual.

“If you’re looking for something unusual, unexpected and, for the most part, largely ignored by my Instagrammers, Atlas Obscura is a must-have to check…”

Based on a website that’s been around for over a decade, its database of almost 25,000 unique places in the world depends on user-generated content and mostly comprises unusual and obscure travel destinations. We’re talking deserted buildings, weird architecture and things that appear to be out of place.

Some of them aren’t particularly photogenic – they’re only here because they have an interesting backstory – but a great deal of them are must-see, must-photograph places. If you’re looking for something unusual, unexpected and, for the most part, largely ignored by my Instagrammers, Atlas Obscura is a must-have to check before you go … anywhere. 

Author tip:

Perhaps because it’s been around for a long time, the database behind the Atlas Obscura website helps the app seem both professional and polished. For example, for each location you not only get directions For Google Maps, but you also get a link to the official website, where appropriate. you can also add any location to a list, make edits to existing entries and even add your own photos. However, you can use the Atlas Obscura app without signing-up or logging in. 

2 PhotoPills


If you want to shoot a sunset, sunrise, or a rising or setting full moon then you simply must download the PhotoPIlls app. When you’re in position you can use its augmented reality mode to display on your smartphone exactly where on horizon the Sun and the Moon will be at a specific time. It means you can can get in an exact position at an exact time to photograph, say, the Moon rising between two buildings.

It works really well when you’re in position, but its ‘planner’ page – a map with the exact direction of the Sun and Moon, as well as the times of golden hours, blue hour and even the length of shadows – is excellent for helping you scout out a good location in advance.

Author tip:

As well as being great for getting your angles right for the Sun and the Moon, PhotoPills is also an excellent source of information about meteor showers. Although displays of so-called ‘shooting stars’ tend to be hyped up by the media, the brightness of the Moon can render some of them completely invisible. PhotoPills includes dates for all active meteor showers, but crucially also includes the phase and illumination percentage of the Moon. 

3 MapAPic

MapAPic doesn’t offer you any inspiration or information on new photo locations. Instead it enables you to get as much out of places you’re currently in, you’ve recently been to or that you intend to visit soon. For example, if you’re in location or you’ve recently been somewhere and you’ve taken a photo that includes GPS data – likely from your smartphone or connected camera – then this app will create a new location, and then give you the option to add a photo.

However, the magic comes from its ‘sun insights’ page, which for very specific places will give you the exact times for astronomical night, dawn, the morning and evening golden hours, and the evening blue hour. You can also make notes about the location, back-up your favourite locations to Dropbox and share and print PDFs. 

Author tip:

MapAPic is a unique resource for photographers who intend to return to specific destinations. It gives you the exact times on any given date that you need to be in position to get a specific shot. However, given that this app is taking-in incredibly detailed information from all kinds of photographers it’s a shame you can’t browse others’ stored locations. 

4 TripBucket Mobile

Recently re-named (it used to be called Roadside Attractions Guide), this app has the tag-line “dream it, plan it, do it, share it”, which neatly summarises what it’s all about. The main way to interrogate its contents is by allowing it to see your location, which it uses to show you large thumbnail photos of attractions and things to do nearby.

However, you can also zoom-in on a map, browse via category or see upcoming events. Scan down the list and it takes you farther from your location. Click on the thumbnail and you’ll see a brief description, a useful gallery of photos, driving directions using the usual smartphone navigation apps, and even the current weather. You can also add your own photos and share each location with others. Annoyingly you have to create an account to get access, but once you’re in it’s really easy to use. 

Author tip:

A polished yet relatively simple app, TripBucket Mobile is essentially for travellers looking for inspiration and ideas when planning trips, so it should appeal mostly to travel photographers. It also has a fabulous section of about 100 virtual tours where you can choose a destination or theme – including Tokyo, Angkor Wat in Cambodia and the U.S. National Parks – and then see 360º photos of those top attractions. It’s useful for planning potential shots. 

5 rGPS (Really Good Photo Spots)

What the aptly-named Really Good Photo Spots lacks in content it makes up for with in-depth detail. It’s a fairly simple database of interesting places, which you can interrogate by asking the app to look for spots around you using your phone’s location, or buy a manual search. You can also add your own spots and create trips, though the latter is a premium feature only.

What makes rGPS different to some of the more travel-centric apps is that not only is it focused purely on photography, but for each location, it also gives you the exact GPS coordinates. However, the app does have a fairly rudimentary feel about it, and each page features ads, albeit rather small.

Author tip:

You don’t get a friendly welcome on rGPS. First it asks for your email and a password to sign-up – with no Facebok or Apple/Google auto-signup possible – then immediately asks  for £8.99 for a one-year, auto-renewing subscription. That gets you no ads and the ability to both create and save trips, as well as save locations for offline access. That could be useful if you’re away from mobile phone networks and WiFi.

Photomapper


Here’s an app that has a lot of potential, but so far lacks content. A crowdsourcing app that relies on photographers submitting their own photos and details of where they were taken, Photomapper presents a map of the world that you can zoom in on. As you do you see photos for various locations with a small blue number indicating how many shooting locations are included for that city, region or country. You then just click on the thumbnails to reveal small versions of all the photos submitted, with each one including information on the best time to go and details about entrance fees, if relevant.

You’ll need an account with Photomapper to start adding your own photos and tips, but you don’t need to sign-up or login to passively use Photomapper.

Author tip:

For each photo it’s possible to get the exact location of where the photo was taken. It opens using either Google Maps or, on an iPhone, Apple Maps, so you can navigate straight to it. You can also use either Mapbox or OpenStreetMap for the world map.

More apps:

Discover more brilliant resources for your photography with our recommended photography apps.

Jamie Carter

Jamie Carter is a journalist and author focusing on stargazing and astronomy, astrophotography, and travel for Forbes Science, BBC Sky At Night magazine, Sky & Telescope, Travel+Leisure, and The Telegraph.

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