If you are serious about your photography, you will eventually want to take a “pure” photographic field trip. This involves picking locations that appeal to your photographic senses. These could be landscapes, galleries, cityscapes, etc. Then going there with the sole purpose of taking the best photographs you can.
The first step in this marvelous adventure is research. You should get to know your intended destination thoroughly to insure minimum disruptions while you are there. Go to libraries, bookstores, or onto the Web. Read brochures and travel books. Talk to friends who have been there. Since this is a photographing trip, I go to Bing or Google Images and bring up images to get an understanding of the area. Get maps of the area, and I suggest taking them to an office supply store and get them laminated. One way I identify potential new and interesting areas is by perusing the websites of camera clubs in the area you are considering. They often post photos of club field trips and they usually know the “good “spots.
Travel light. You don’t need a lot of clothes, but pack for the weather in the area. You don’t need all the camera equipment you own; one camera body, 1 or 2 lenses, your tripod, filters, and extra batteries (and their chargers) and SD cards. I take my post processing laptop and a 1 TB external hard drive. A headlamp is essential for landscape shots in the early morning or late evenings. And take a small notebook and pen; you will have thoughts, opinions, details etc. that you will forget unless you write them down.
Once you are at your area, slow down and feel the emotion of the area. Feeling the emotion will help you convey that emotion in your photos. Be patient, never be in a hurry to get somewhere else; don’t be a slave to a schedule you made up back home. Never settle for your first view of a place or the first frame you snap. And the best tip is to “Wake up early, Stay out late” Spend most of your time taking photos during the Golden Hours.
Be ready for anything and always carry a camera around. Luck plays a significant role when on a field trip. Keep your camera on you, charged up, and ready for action at all times.
Take photographs, not snapshots. If you don’t know the difference (I didn’t until 2 years ago), I have another blog post that explains it. It will be beneficial to read it. Use proper composition principles.
And finally, Don’t expect to make award-winning photos, it puts too much pressure on you. Have fun, enjoy your surroundings, take in the beauty.