Five tips for taking the perfect travel photos: Ewen Bell, travel photographer


Travel light to chase the light and live the moment first. Don't try to shoot everything, says editorial travel photographer Ewen Bell, who lives by the mantra, "Go slow, Get closer. Look for the light".


Don't try to get every shot. Running around chasing photos is a great way to ruin a perfectly lovely holiday. You want a few winners to go home with for sure, but does it really matter if you get every single photo you think of? Having a list of pre-conceived images in your mind can also present a barrier to simply capturing the reality before your eyes. Less is more.


Lens simplicity. My standard travel kit is two prime lenses, a 24mm wide angle and a 50mm. I shoot for quality and the prime lens option simplifies my creative process. I want to focus on the photography, not the camera. You can get 90 per cent of shots with these two lenses, while keeping your bag light and your mind free to immerse in the experience.


Experience before exposures. Photography should be a reflection of your experience, but can easily turn into an all-consuming pursuit that isolates you from the true joy of travel. Enjoy your experiences before you chase the exposure. When your photography comes from the moment it will express so much more. Live the moment first.


Ask first. When taking portraits of people along our journey it's important to get their permission first. I take a few photos of someone, show them on the camera and have a chat, then let them return to their normal routine. I am now invisible, but I am still there. That's when I get the best portraits, with full permission but a genuine connection to the subject.


Go slow. The biggest mistake we make as travellers is trying to see too much with too little time. Planning a gentle itinerary where you have time to revisit a street in better light, or take a long, slow walk instead of catching the bus, or just sit on a street corner and watch the ebb and flow of crowds. Slow down your travel in every possible way, and it will benefit both your enjoyment and photographic opportunity.

The author of ReImagine – change your photography by changing your perspective, Bell leads tours and workshops around the globe. See