We all take quick snaps when we travel, but spending a little bit of extra time to “look for the detail” can add extra meaning to our travel photos.

Let’s look at some examples.

Select one object from many

In this example, we were walking along the Pont des Arts Bridge in Paris or as it is known, the “lock bridge”.  The second photo shows how many locks have been added to the bridge (and this is only a small section) but it really does not evoke any emotion.  It really is just lots of locks, most of which are the same colour.  

So by picking one object from many, you can add some emotion.  So how do you do that when you are at a place where people add locks to the bridge to show their love for one another?

Why not find a specific lock with a special meaning.  Let’s consider the first photo. This lock caught my attention, firstly for its beautiful pink colour.  But when looking at it, this couple has gone to the trouble of having the lock engraved with so much detail.  Could you pick a more romantic destination than Paris for your honeymoon?  Placing this lock on this bridge obviously had a very special meaning for this couple.

Look for the detail
Paris lock bridge

TIP:  When faced with a large number of small objects such as the lock bridge, look for one specific object that draws your attention and use that one object to help share the message of the location.

Show intricate designs

In this example, we found these beautiful street lights as we walked around Paris.  Each light, when you looked closely, had beautiful details from the intricate ironwork to the patterns on the glass.

The first photo shows the full lamp including the cherubs at its base, sitting atop a stone base.  It also shows the back drop of the Seine. I loved these lamps the moment I saw them, not only for their overall look but because of the amount of detail in their design..

So how do you show these amazing details? By zooming in, you get to show that intricate ironwork and the different patterns on the glass, including the shells. 

In this case because I needed to look up to take the photo, I was also able to capture the grey of the clouds in the glass for extra mood.  

TIP:  When you find an object with a lot of intricate details, select a certain part of the object to capture its detailed nature.

Show how delicate something is

Flowers and food are great subjects to be able to show how delicate individual items are.   

Close up photos of food can really tantalise the taste buds.  These macarons not only look delicious but by getting closer to the actual individual macarons you can see how delicate they are.  You can also see the amazing individual colours. 

The second photo shows the counter of the store where we were buying the macarons and it shows an array of options.  The photo on the right, shows the delicate nature of the macarons.


TIP: When looking at items that are delicate in nature, consider how you can show that by zooming in.

Other Examples

Clogs at a market stall in Alkmaar
Clogs at a market stall in Alkmaar
Sunflowers adorning the handlebars of a bike in Victoria, Canada
Sunflowers adorning the handlebars of a bike in Victoria, Canada


There are different ways you can practice “looking for the detail”.  The following is a list of photos to look for to practice:

  • get up close to a flower (sometimes you might even find bees on the flowers)
  • what patterns can you find in leaves
  • find some insects to get up close to
  • food is always a great option.
An individual flower in Monet's garden
An individual flower in Monet's garden

Do you hate being in your travel photos?  Here are 10 ways to be in travel photos when you hate having your photo taken.


Look for the Detail