Sean White Photo & Film

Portrait Session & Video Shoot: Maria in Downtown Greensboro

New session with my good friend Maria at State Street in Greensboro. We were able to squeeze in both a quick video shoot and some portraits on a nice, but cold afternoon.

We went with a fashion inspired look book type video. Maria killed it!

Equipment: Nikon D810, 11-24mm 2.8, Zhiyun Crane 2

After having some fun with the video, we had about 20 minutes of light left to create some magic. Here’s the keepers that we managed to get.  

Equipment: Nikon D810, 50mm 1.8

Click here to schedule a shoot.

5 Travel Photography Tips to Live By

I love to travel. So much so, that I recently quit my job to wander around the world with my camera (more about that in another post). Needless to say, it’s been pretty epic. Travel photography gives endless opportunities for photographers but also comes with its fair share of challenges. So here we go, 5 travel photography tips to take with you on your next adventure.

1) Pack Light

This one’s harder said than done. If you’re anything like me, you think you need to have every possible piece of gear to cover every possible scenario under the sun. Fight that impulse. It’s just not practical to bring bags on bags of photography gear on a trip (ok maybe a road trip but I’m thinking more trips with a flight). How many times have you overpacked a bag for a trip only to get home and realize you didn’t use or wear half of what you brought? Be light and purposeful with what you bring. Think about the type of shooting that you’ll be doing and what gear is best for that type of photography. This is also a chance to challenge yourself. Having only one or two lenses to shoot with can force you to use your imagination with compositions and shot types. You might just become a better photographer for it. I just wrapped up a three and half month trip abroad, here’s what I brought:

Nikon D810 - 2 Lenses (50mm 1.8 & 10-24mm) - GoPro - DJI Mavic Air - Filters - Gorilla Pod - Chargers, batteries & hard drive

That might not seem super light to some of you but trust me, I’ve seen photographers who need two big suitcases to fit all their gear…And travel that way.

Everything I brought on my most recent trip (minus my empty backpack)

Bonus tip: If you’re looking for a great travel photography bag, check out Wandrd’s Hexad Access Duffel … I’m not being paid to say this, I just genuinely love this bag. This and a backpack is all I took on my three and a half month trip.

2) Utilize Filters

Took me forever to realize how useful filters can be but for being so portable, they’re an easy addition to your travel bag. My go to filters are a CPL and a neutral density. CPL filters really help colors pop and are great for enhancing the sky in landscape photos. Neutral density (ND) filters act as sunglasses for your camera by allowing you to shoot with settings that would otherwise overexpose an image. Think of those silky smooth waterfall pictures - extremely slow shutter, often shot in broad daylight, made possible with a ND filter. I also use them for video, when it’s bright but I want to capture that shallow depth of field while keeping my shutter speed double my frame rate.

Shot in a volcanic hot pool in New Zealand. 30 second exposure using a ND filter - Wai-o-Tapu, New Zealand

Check this out if you’re new to filters -

3)Bring a (Portable) Tripod

Read = portable. Invest in a Gorilla Pod, or something similar. Light and durable are key features to look for. My Gorilla Pod fits nicely into one of the side water bottle pockets of my backpack. Perfect for advanced selfies (see image above) and any time you need to shoot with a slow shutter (also see above). If you’re buying something new, make sure it supports the weight of your camera. Gorilla Pods come in different models that hold different weights.

4) Get up early. Stay out late.

We all know great light comes at dawn and dusk. Utilize it. It takes sacrifice to nab a great shot and sleep is often that sacrifice. I love sleep - ask anyone who knows me if they think I’d be caught dead out of bed before 9 am… The exception? Getting up to shoot a killer sunrise and use that perfect morning light. I recently did a hike in New Zealand called Roys Peak. I chose to forgo sleep altogether since I started the hike at 3am. Yeah, I went hiking at 3 in the morning. But hiking the mundane part of a trail in the dark with a flashlight meant I hit the summit just as the first light broke the horizon. Worth it. 

Don’t forget about night time either. City lights are a thing of beauty and night photography can be a fun, new challenge. I captured some portraits walking the streets of Barcelona at night and was thrilled with the different vibe they gave off and the array of different and challenging light options to shoot with. Choosing a landscape over a cityscape? Give astrophotography a go.

Isthmus Peak at sunrise - Wanaka, New Zealand

Jannie Seddon Shipwreck - Motueka, New Zealand

5) See the Unseen

Great photography is all about unique perspectives. Sure, you could stand directly in front of the Sydney Opera House, in a crowd of tourists, at midday and snap a picture. But who wants that? Find different angles, perspectives, times of day (see tip 4). Don’t get the same old shot. This is your chance to be creative. If you find yourself standing in the middle of 10 other photographers, move. Check your surroundings to see what other interesting compositions you can make. 

Sydney Harbour from the Harbour Bridge

Capistrano Beach, California

To purchase the Capistrano Beach print above, click here.

Let me know in the comments what other travel photography tips you recommend!

Check out my portrait, landscape & commercial work, as well as my videography. Contact me today if you’re interested in a shoot.

Using Format