I am interested in making a journey as a very deliberate way of getting some sets of photos. I would like to visit a city, and capture various categories of photos. I would like to shoot intentionally for selling the images I produce.

Does anyone have a system for planning a trip like this beforehand? What sort of images are worth capturing. For example, I would be looking to take some shots for stock photography and then try to cover an area or event of particular interest and perhaps sell to newspapers.

  • \$\begingroup\$ This seems more a question of location scouting, picking subject matter and so forth, as opposed to the other question which is about making sure batteries are charged and resetting ISO and WB. \$\endgroup\$
    – MikeW
    Jan 25, 2013 at 2:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ Warning: Be sure NEVER to travel with me :-). Our styles are so dissimilar that we'd melt down soon after morning tea on the first day :-). \$\endgroup\$ Jan 25, 2013 at 12:57
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    \$\begingroup\$ @RussellMcMahon do you want to add why otherwise your comment doesn't add anything. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 25, 2013 at 13:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ You might find this book useful: Travel Photography: A Guide to Taking Better Pictures (Lonely Planet How to Guides) by Richard l'Anson. It covers technique, which you may not want or need, but also has many tips about travel photography logistics. \$\endgroup\$
    – vlad259
    Jan 25, 2013 at 16:56
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    \$\begingroup\$ Andrew - Note: Your method sounds better for what you are trying to achieve. Mine serves as a retrospective total immersion experience :-).(Random slideshow on side monitor. 8 second change, Select samples for further processing as desired when they "pop up" out of large assortment. The longer since I was there the more I remember. After months the brain logs them all and I recall every shot instantly as soon as they appear. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 25, 2013 at 22:49

2 Answers 2

  1. Decide what pictures you want to shoot - select specific buildings, monuments, streets, festivals, etc.

  2. Research the hell out of whatever you are going to shoot, know in advance exactly what's the picture you want to take.

  3. Research what is the right time of year for the picture you want - weather and the sun location in the sky makes a huge difference in the photo

  4. Find out what is the right time of day to take the photo - often it's going to be sunrise, get use to getting up early enough to arrive, choose a spot, setup and take your test pictures all before the sun comes out.

  5. Return to the same location again and again and again until the weather and light is just right.

I know this is a lot of work and doesn't sound fun at all - but is is how almost all great pictures were made, don't expect to create high quality sellable pictures by taking snapshots while on vacation.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Listen to #4, the time of day that you shoot is critical. Sadly, most normal people are traveling in the middle of the day, when the lighting is terrible. Get up before dawn and shoot. Also shoot in the last hour of light before sunset. It makes a huge different. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 17, 2013 at 20:59

It depends on the environment i'm planning on going to and what kinds of pictures i'm planning on taking. If for example, your keen on taking photos of static objects (say historical sites like a church), you might want to plan things like transport and what times of day you can be there to capture it in the best light. In addition Scouting out such locations on google maps/street view can also be beneficial to get an idea of what type of lenses you might want to use and from what points. Of course, this won't help you see inside the structure/etc but it will give you some idea about lighting around (are there lots of trees for example?) and what to expect when you get there. Check other peoples photos of the areas your going to see and find out whats interesting to you.

If you are planning on going to capture 'living' moments then i suggest finding out what times of the year are celebrated in the region you are going and going when things are at their most interesting. It depends on your subject matter of course but you can adapt that kind of research to what you want to shoot.

It sounds like you like to research an area first before you go there so do it in the context of what you want to be shooting and you should be fine.

Good luck,


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