Do your travel photographs look just like everyone else’s?

If you wonder why you bothered lugging your digital SLR half way around the world and didn’t just settle for buying postcards, it’s time to revisit the way you photograph your travels. Here is part 2 in my new series of Better Travel Photography – a guide to getting great travel photos that don’t look like everyone else’s..

Today’s tip: Glass is your friend (not the lens type of glass either!)

If what you are photographing is in a busy location you can capture unusual detail by turning your back on it and find ways to capture it reflected in surrounding windows.

While the object’s details might be less well defined when reflected and while you’ll get a combination of the window detail and the object itself, the collage effect can make for a unique image.

If it rains as you travel, celebrate the opportunities available in shooting reflections in puddles. Capturing a popular tourist destination reflected in water is a way of seeing things that are there all the time but which few people ever really “see”.

When you shoot reflections, in windows or in puddles take care to make sure your camera is focusing on what it is that you want it to focus on.

You’ll want the detail in the reflection to be visible and in sharp focus with the surrounding area out of focus.

If you’re used to using a polarizing lens on your camera – which you should when shooting in sunlight conditions – remove it when you’re shooting reflections.

One of the roles of a polarizing filter is to cut out a lot of reflected light from entering your camera and, when you’re shooting reflections that’s exactly what you want to capture.

Helen Bradley