1.Break The Eye Level Perspective
One of the keys elements that forms a beautiful photograph is the composition. It has the unique quality to lead viewer’s eye and and guides you through the entire frame. When choosing a composition for your shot, try to avoid the eye level perspective. This is the most common way to see the world, which means that won’t be as impressive as you think on a photograph. Try thinking outside the box and break the rules – go high, go low, climb on a tree, lay down etc. Get the shot that less people would even think of. Be creative!
2.Use a tripod
This one might sound obvious, but not many people, especially complete beginners, are used to pack a tripod when going on a vacation. The tripod is not only going to help you achieve super sharp image when lower shutter speed is needed, but it will also allow you to take multiple exposures and potentially blend them later in the post-processing. For example, if you are shooting a high contrast scene like sunset for instance, you will have to expose for the highlights and for the dark areas of the image. Tripod will allow you to achieve that.
One of my favorite travel tripods is Manfrotto 190cxpro-3 carbon fiber.
Most probably the one and only piece of equipment that I never go on a trip without. It is more likely I don’t bring a particular lens with me rather than leaving my polarizing filters at home. The main quality of a polarizer is to remove reflection from glossy surfaces such as: glass, metal, windows, leaves and vegetation etc. In addition to that, this type of filter darkens the sky in a bright sunny day and also saturates the blues significantly. This helps the puffy clouds pop and makes them look snow-white.
I use 95mm Polarizing filter from B+W for my 35mm wide angle lens and also another 77mm polarizer for all other lenses. For those interested mainly in landscape photography maybe it is a good idea to check Lee Filter for more advanced options. Check out the links below
You can find these in various shapes and sizes and also in different colors as well, usually they consist of 5 and can easily be converted one into another. For example you can have a silver or gold, white or translucent, or black. These are very useful when you need to bounce some light back into a subject, defuse the light or even soak up light if you are using the black cover. It is ideal for portraits, food, all kind of still objects etc.
5.Expose for the highlights
This one is extremely important to stick to for any photography in general. In a very high contrast scenes with very bright highlights and very dark shadows your camera will struggle to capture details in both areas. However, if you properly expose the highlights, you would be able to recover a lot of information back in the shadows in the post-processing stage later on. But the opposite is nearly impossible to happen, as the digital sensors are very sensitive when it comes down to highlights. Remember, once you have blown out the highlight, it is impossible to recover in the post.