Five Tips to Mix and Match Travel Photos

Five Tips to Mix and Match Travel Photos

This method is widely used in editorial magazines. It's a fun way to look at different perspectives of your work combined. Sometimes it’s just not possible to capture everything you want in a single shot. The solution is simple – shoot two photos and display them side-by-side. I find that displaying two images side-by-side is a great way to tell a story photographically, and to create ideas that are not necessarily evident when one or the other image is displayed by itself. If you're interested in trying this technique with your own images, here are some of the tricks I’ve picked up along the way. Make small prints and lay them out on a large table to play the mix and match approach. 

Travel Shots

When you’re traveling it can be difficult to capture the true sense of a place with just one photo. Often, a travel experience is about the people, the food, the architecture, and the quirky things you just don’t see at home. And while you may be able to capture some of those things in a single shot, they're often easier to convey in a series of images. For that reason, combining images can be a very useful technique in travel photography. Using two different genres such as a portrait and a still life can help you tell a bigger story with your images. 

Black & White portrait mixed with a color shot of architecture in Santiago De Compostela.

Portrait and Object 

You can add more interest to a portrait by including an object that belongs to the sitter. In this case, combining a photo of a smiling rickshaw driver with one a Buddhist statue from a nearby temple. The statues are custom made to match the character of someone who has passed. The moss lush greens combined with his scarf compliment each other.

Street Portrait and Buddhist Statue

Food and Pattern

A great way to show the food is to look for similar patterns to mimic the seasons. In this case the autumn leaves and colors repeating. Similar shapes and textures being shown in different genres can also help gel the message together.

Food & Pattern

Same Scene, Different Shot

A repetition of a similar photo can add interest to a series of photos. I like to call it the “Spot the Difference” approach. When people see two similar images they can’t help looking for differences, and that’s usually enough to spark some interest in your photo.

Stumbled upon this reluctant guitar maker who put up with us silly tourists to allow for a quick portrait while he was working.

Leading Lines

You can use leading lines to visually connect one photo to another. In the photo below, the leading lines converge nicely in the center to move our eyes left and right between the photos. Repetition of colors, lines, textures, shapes, and angles of view can be used to create a close relationship or a juxtaposition between photos. These two roads are slightly different in balance. The one on the left being symmetrical and the one on the right a-symmetrical with a diagonal line exiting the left corner. This mix adds contrast and movement to two different locations.

Puebla De Sanabria is a great over night stop over if you are driving from Madrid to Santiago De Compostela to break up the long drive. The second image is only about an hour's drive from Madrid in a town called Segovia where you can have lunch next to the aquaducks.

As usual I expect lots of other positive suggestions in the comments area. Bon Voyage!

Alfonso Calero's picture

Alfonso Calero is a travel photographer from Sydney specializing in portraits and landscapes. He's a regular traveler with small photo workshops and tours in Australia, Japan, the Philippines, Spain and Faroe Islands.

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Nice tips, thank you!
I usually mix and match photos to create relations and dialogues between subject and context, or between different subjects, to enforce my photo stories. I think it's a graphic approach

Great idea and thanks for sharing your great photos.

Adobe Lightroom print module allows you to save two photos side by side if you make a preset to fit both.

Thanks for the tip. I'll definitely try it. ^_^