Master travel photography

3. Be colourful

Colour can be very evocative of a place. Think of the Mediterranean and it brings images of sun-faded pastel hues to mind; Kenya and the bright red traditional clothing of the Maasai people is an obvious mental connection. Capturing these colours is an important element within the travel portfolio and can really give your images impact.

Bold, primary colours certainly have the most power – and isolating them within the wider scene with tight compositions to really make the most of them is an excellent way to draw the viewer's attention. Look out for contrasting colours too, so a blue next to yellow or a green against a red will always help you to create a picture that stands out from the crowd.

Use reflections

Reflections of colour in water are always eye-catching – so whether it's a river, canal or even just a puddle, take a look to see whether you can use it in your composition. Zoom in on the reflection too for an abstract take on the scene.

Travel reflections

Use composition

Don't rely on the colour to do all the work for you: you still need to compose your image carefully. This is often helped with contrasting colours so look out for subjects where the main colours work off each other, like the yellow and blue here.

Travel composition

Frame your picture

This shot is ultimately focusing on the bike, but the colour backdrop and shooting through the blue boat with a telephoto lens help to frame it within the scene. The way the blue window shutters echo the boat is a nice stroke of luck too.

Travel framing

4. Be quirky

Observation is one of the keys to good travel photography. Be on the look-out for something fun or different or just plain quirky. In busy tourist areas, the antics of the tourists themselves can make for some interesting images, while local graffiti, posters and even shop window displays can offer up compelling photo fodder.

Travel graffiti

5. Spot details

Wide scenes are always eye-catching, but it is the small things you come across that prove the icing on the cake of your travel portfolio. Use your telephoto lens to isolate interesting details that show local life. Try to tell a story with these images, so think about how the viewer will work out what it is about. For example, local artisans and craftsmen working with their hands can show a side of the place you are visiting that typical tourists would never think of exploring.

Travel details