April 2, 2017

Travel Photos - Why are they important?

Whether you are sitting on the grass waiting for the sun to rise above the Angkor Wat, or swimming with a Whale Shark in Cebu, we never take those moments for granted. And what better way to freeze those moments and take it with you, not just home but for a lifetime, than taking a photograph of it. Here are a few reasons why taking pictures are one of the most important aspects whenever we travel, whenever I travel.

It's the best souvenir you can take home with you.


Forbidden City, Beijing, China - January 2013

We love taking home keepsakes and mementos whenever we visit a foreign place. Usually we bring home and collect the touristy stuff like Keychains, Fridge Magnets, Metal spoons, and Postcards. But nothing beats photos as souvenirs because you don't just get it for free, you actually are in it as well which can be the best reminder or proof that your experience was not just a dream but you really were there.

Also, a wall in my room is dedicated to my travel photos. I print them out cut them all to uniform squares and stuck them beside each other one by one until I have this giant 'instagram' travel photo wall. Maybe you would want one in your rooms as well?


It makes you more aware of the place.


Ta Prohm, Siem Reap, Cambodia - January 2014

Whenever we arrive at an attraction, we take in everything that we see to our minds! How different it is from the pictures that we saw on the internet during the planning stages of this trip. It's like distinguishing how amazing it is by seeing it as it is, without any filters or post processing and truly appreciating how amazing God created this world and how gracious He is for blessing you to see it for yourself.

By taking pictures, you look for the best angles or compose the best framing for your photographs. And for this to happen, we breathe in the beauty of that very place at that exact moment. We become aware of how beautiful the place is, the smell of the plants and flowers nearby, and even how we can perfectly capture the actions and events that are happening on that place as well.

It gives you a chance to relive that very moment.


Wansaka Matsuri, Kariya City, Japan - August 2013

When we get home, we become so nostalgic of how amazing our experience was during the whole adventure. Admit it! It takes days or weeks, or for me, even months to really get over that magic of the place we just conquered. Well, okay, I don't really get over on all my amazing travels so whenever I need a doze of this magical moments, I just grab my hard drive and stick it in my laptop to view photos of my trips.

Not just sights but the people we meet on our travels, the best way we can remember our adventures with them is by snapping a quick selfie with them. I have met quite a few amazing people on my adventures around South East Asia and yes, I never forget about them especially we have pictures together that I kept until now.


It's a great way to share your experience to your loved ones.

Ming Tombs, Beijing, China - January 2013

In these times where everything is on social media, most of us love to share our adventures with our loved ones. Friend and family who are excited to see what's happening or where on earth you are at that very moment becomes much happier whenever they see your pictures at that very moment. I mean, not everyone loves seeing your feed of travel photos unfortunately but hey, most people do! So it's really up to how much and what you will be sharing on Social Media.

Yes, you don't have to post it all, you don't have to post anything either - it's your choice! But pictures are greatest enhancers of every adventure as you talk about it. Most of all, pictures are stories in itself. It speaks of a thousand words with just a single shot so just keep on taking those selfies and groupfies with your friends on your vacation and these will be treasures that will last beyond a lifetime.

A few tips before taking that camera out of your backpack


Make sure you learn about the place that you are visiting especially before taking pictures  because there are sacred places that have special requirements on taking photos. Just like this photo of me in Wat Mahathat in Ayutthaya, Thailand. At first, you will think that it is just a photo of me and a buddha statue on a banyan tree. But it is important not take the photo with your head higher than that of the buddha because that is a sign of disrespect to the Buddhists.


Wat Mahathat, Ayutthaya, Thailand - March 2011

Sometimes, it's not about the camera, it's about how you shoot it. Even if you own the most expensive and highest graded camera in the universe, that doesn't mean your photos will turn out maagazine-worthy. Experimenting on different angles and perspectives on taking that shot of the beautiful temple or a photo of your cousin by the forest will definitely do wonders. And hey, don't laugh at those people lying down to take pictures, their photos might just make it to the next National Geographic Cover!

Don't just take one photo of something. We're not using film anymore so just take lots and lots of frames of the same subject as much as you can and when you get home, just chose the best one once you load it on your laptop.

This may sound funny but Be mindful of what you wear. Well for me, it is very important to pick the perfect clothes for that perfect place. It doesn't have to be expensive like what models wear when they visit the Great Wall or Rome but you don't want to look left out on that beautiful background wearing something that is not that appropriate. Especially nowadays that photoshop can do just about anything like using your photo at your backyard and processing it just like you're at a beach in Rio de Janeiro. Trust me, you'll be much more amazed to look back on your photos wearing something nice and appropriate. Here's one of me and my friends during our visit to Cebu last 2016.

Cuartel, Oslob, Cebu, Philippines - June 2016


Avoid replaying the photos every after attraction. This is something that gets into my nerves when it comes to travelling with my friends! They love viewing and reviewing all the shots every after we get back to the van or car or bus! They don't realise how much battery life they are wasting! It won't hurt explaining them that more battery means more pictures so just tell them to wait, besides, there's usually a fast setting of a quick preview right after every shot so you can be quite sure if the photo went well or not.

And most importantly, Don't forget to appreciate that very moment at that very place. People nowadays travel just for the pictures, not realising how much they are missing. They focus so much on taking those pictures, forgetting how much time they would have appreciated just feeling that very moment you are on that very place.

Snoqualmie, Washington, USA - July 2015

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That's it! Start planning your next adventure and think about how amazing your travels will be after taking better pictures! With this, the adventures doesn't stop when you arrive at home but the magic stays within every single photograph you took home with your best travel buddy, your camera.

Never Stop Capturing Moments!
Steve