Visiting a foreign place and trying to photograph its essence can be very hard to do. Whenever I travel somewhere new, or even just decide to venture out into the streets of my hometown, I always make sure to follow these tips.
Be open, look around
Photography is all about how good your “eye” is — let it guide you. Look for interesting spots to photograph and try to take a variety of pictures so you don’t end up having 20 images that all look the same. Your perspective will always be unique, even if you photograph something as common as the Empire State Building.
Photographing people is inherently intrusive — especially when you’re in a new country. Be respectful to those you are photographing — ask them for permission. Having your photograph taken can be an awkward thing to face. Be nice and communicate as clearly as possible.
The worst thing that could happen is seeing something truly spectacular and having your camera die before you can take the shot. I like to make sure everything is charged throughout the night so that I have a full battery for the long day. Make sure to decide on a lens to shoot with. From personal experience, switching lenses on a congested bus or in a thick crowd of tourists is nerve-wracking. Choose a simple, easy-to-use lens that is good for quick shooting.
When shooting on film, I usually only get about 36 pictures until I have to load another roll. Shooting in this format has taught me to be economical and only take pictures of things I truly find interesting. When you get back your developed photos, you will be happy you were selective.