by James Maher

I love to look at travel photography, but man, sometimes it can all just seem mind-numbingly similar.
 Put a cabin, some rocks, grass, or sand in the foreground, a lake or ocean in the middle ground, and a sunset or mountain in the background, preferably during a slightly cloudy day.
Shake. Rinse. Repeat.
I do this frequently; everyone does.  But that’s the problem.  Sometimes we need to break away from the formulas of what we think photographs should look like.  We need to think outside of the box and try to do things a little differently.
 So here are a few tips and thoughts to help you create unique travel photos.
When we’re in a new place, sometimes all we can think about is taking photos of the beautiful architecture, the monuments, and the wonders that we travelled to see.  We have these thoughts from the countless guide books we’ve read and from the imagery we’ve seen over the web.  We want to take those same pictures to have for ourselves (and we should take these photos.)  But these things are not necessarily what gives a place its essence and its soul.
 Stop and think about how you feel.  What is it that is creating that feeling?  Is it that tiny, bustling restaurant, lit up at night and filled with regulars?  Is it the well dressed men in expensive suits and shoes riding their bicycles to work?  Is it the chaos and constant traffic on the streets?  Is it the food vendors on the side of the road?  Is it the fresh bread and cheese?
 For instance, what describes Italy better?  Is it your typical capture of the Duomo or the Ponte Vecchio, or is it a detail shot of an older man in a well-made suit walking on wet cobblestones and bringing home fresh bread at the end of the day?

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