Split, Croatia

Travel Photography: My Terrible Photos Of Europe

Derek Europe, Everything Else 54 Comments

This is the second post of a relatively new series called “Terrible Photos” in which I openly share with you some of the terrible photos I’ve taken during my travels. I do not try and hide the fact that my photographic skills are not very well developed at all. And for anyone who might have read the first post in this series – Terrible Photos of the Middle East – you should be well aware of what’s in store for you with this post…

Split, Croatia

There is nothing quite like a shot of the Adriatic Sea, with a stretch of land in the background and with the leaves of a beautiful, lush green, exotic-looking tree acting as a frame for the entire scene. There’s also nothing quite like a similar shot in which the leaves of such a tree almost completely cover up the scene, leaving the land in the background barely visible. That, my friends, is a photo of the town of Split, Croatia.

Florence Italy

Let us now transport ourselves to Florence, Italy, a city so pleasing to the eye at times that even the least skilled photographers among us should find little difficulty in capturing impressive shots. In reality, the only way that one could screw up a photo here, especially a photo of that recognizable Florence Cathedral (Duomo), would be to take a photo with that domed building in the distance, off to the left, with a construction crane to its right and perhaps an ugly wall with bushes and weeds in front of it located in the foreground. Hmmm….

Vasteras, Sweden

Vasteras, Sweden 2

The above two photos represent exactly 25% of the total number of photos I took during a visit to Sweden a few years ago. I took these while walking around the grounds of a small castle located on the outskirts of the town of Vasteras. Did I take a photo of the complete castle itself? I did not.

La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

It seems that during this visit to Barcelona’s famous La Sagrada Familia, my fascination with including construction equipment in my photos was born. I’ll just blame this one on the fact that I only had a couple of hours of free time that day and was in a great rush to get back to the cruise ship I was working on at the time.

Trencin, Slovakia

When you arrive in Trencin, Slovakia, there is one building that dominates the view, the medieval Trencin Castle, located high above town on a rocky hilltop. Yup. This is my photo of it. My only photo of it.


During my trip to Croatia (the same trip during which I took the first photo), a friend and I drove down to the coastal town of Dubrovnik. The interesting part about this drive is that at one point, the main highway to Dubrovnik leaves Croatia and passes through Bosnia-Hercegovina for a few minutes. You guessed it. The above is my only photo of Bosnia-Hercegovina. And isn’t she a beauty?

That concludes this installment of the Terrible Photos series. In all honestly, I can’t believe you made it this far and I certainly appreciate you putting up with my poor photography.

And if you have any basic tips to share, please do leave them in the comments!


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Comments 54

  1. Ha loved that this came up after searching for travel photography. Great post. I did that drive to Dubrovnik, you definitely caught the most scenic part of the route :-).

  2. Pingback: Lake Bled, Slovenia: Not Just Another Lake | Wandering Earl

  3. Haha. This is a great post. I love the one of the Sagrada Familia. I agree with the post above. It is nearly impossible to take a great shot of it right now- the construction is everywhere!

    1. Hey Olga – Thank you for that confirmation 🙂 It does help knowing that construction makes it difficult for everyone!

  4. I love this blog! Hilarious! I have the exact same one of the sagrada familiar, I think its a hard one to shot. hah.

    1. Hey Michelle – I like your way of looking at things! It was not my lack of skills but the shot itself that was at fault 🙂

  5. I guess I have been shooting bad photos all along Earl! Thanks for pointing it out because my photos tend to look just like yours. At least I know they have been photoshop…lol The last photo does look pretty bad but hey it depends on if that was the look you were going for! The blurr effect

  6. Okay, Earl, you are now officially the most hilarious person on the internet, in my eyes. I really hope you will have another installment in this series. However, I do need to stop my habit of eating lunch while reading your posts. Munching on hummus and crackers while laughing out loud is not attractive, nor is it easy :-/

    1. Hey Sabina – Haha…there will definitely be another installment. Sadly, I have endless files of such photos 🙂 And I guess these kind of posts are better read prior to going to sleep or maybe first thing in the morning. Hummus and bad photos obviously do not mix well. Although, I could really use some hummus myself. That’s something I’m missing while living here in Mexico!

  7. The Bosnia one is hilarious and, well, it’s beautiful with that green view, isn’t it? LOL. By the way I am also unlucky sometimes, being at the wrong time to visit a beautiful place. The last one was when I traveled to Cambodia last week. Everybody knows Angkor Wat is amazing, right? But unfortunately when I was there, there’s one thing that dominates the facade of the temple: scaffolds and other renovation work tools. I realize that they’re doing it to preserve its beauty, but I wish I were there not during such renovation time.

    1. Hey Bama – That is unlucky about Angkor Wat…sorry to hear that. Those things do happen from time to time of course and I guess you’ll be one of the few people with photos of the temples with scaffolding 🙂
      Hopefully the rest of your trip was a bit luckier!

    1. Hey Debbie – I think most of us fall into the same photography category. Hopefully this will help others be comfortable with that fact!

  8. This is hilarious! Thank you so much for the laugh! And I’m not really laughing at you, I’m laughing with you. I have my fair share of terrible photos that left me slapping myself on the forehead 😀

    1. Hey Erin – Those very same forehead-slapping photos can often be the most memorable. After all, every time I see the photos in this post I can clearly remember exactly what I was doing that day. Thank you so much for your comment!

  9. Loved this so much. I laughed soo hard! What you perhaps lack as a photographer, you definitely make up for as a witty and self-deprecating writer. These are great, and what you’re doing is absolutely incredible. Thank you!

    1. Hey Alishya – I appreciate your words 🙂 Maybe one day my photos will get better but for now I’m happy knowing that at least my writing is not as bad!

    1. Hey Kris – It is hard to delete photos, even the bad ones. I have that same problem, which I guess is a good thing now as I get to put these posts together!

  10. My tips for terrible photography?

    Definitely more construction shots! And maybe a blurry nighttime shot or two.

    That would really make the next installment fantastic….I mean terrible!

    1. Hey Sarah – You mean to say that blurry day time photos are not enough? You want blurry night shots as well??? Well, I’m sure I can manage that quite easily 🙂

  11. These are about the level of my skill with the camera — that’s why my husband is almost always the one behind the camera. You make me feel better that maybe there is hope yet for my photography to evolve.

    1. Hey Amy – Thank you for admitting that you are on the same level as I am when it comes to photography! It’s nice to know I have some company down here. There is always hope of improving. Of course, I’ve been waiting many years for that to happen with no luck so far. I guess I should probably start learning something and putting in a bit more effort. That might be what’s been missing!

  12. Earl, as a self-taught photographer it’s not an easy skill to master. The first photo you’ve posted has some potential with the framing of the lush greenery but I’d like to see more of the sea 🙂 The shot of Trenchin castle would be a good candidate for a crop – not much is going on with the sky so if you cropped most of it out the castle would fill up more of the frame. Anyhow, I just posted an article on travel photography this afternoon and I can recommend a lot of other free resources (youtube channels, ebooks, etc) if you’re interested.

    1. @Nomadic Samuel: Thank you for those tips…it all helps! And your latest post was quite useful as well. It all makes sense and now I just need to put it into practice. But if I do that and improve, I might have to get rid of this series 🙂

    1. Fair enough Shane. I certainly did appreciate your approach the first time. And don’t worry, this time I was quite certain there wouldn’t be many positives coming my way 🙂

    1. Thanks for that Ashley. I just figured that instead of throwing up heavily photoshopped photos that do not represent my poor skills at all, I might as well be honest and show everyone what I really do with a camera!

  13. It’s a good thing that you’re adept at recreating travel scenes with your words. 🙂

    Last shot of this is almost — almost — as good as the half-dressed mannequin in your previous bad photo post.

    1. @Odysseus Drifts: Haha…at least the mannequins made for an interesting photographic subject. Every time I look at that photo I start to laugh!

  14. LOL Rock your style because it’s very enjoyable. Sure you photos on their own are not that much to talk about.. but partnered with your words and experiences they become very amusing and likely something that many people can relate with 🙂 Seeing all the fantastic photos that some people take may make many people hesitant about sharing any photos so I say well done 😀

    Definitely made me chuckle 🙂

    1. @Maplemusketeer: I’m definitely willing to have readers chuckle at my expense. While I of course enjoy looking at wonderful photos, I just thought it would be wrong of me to pretend I was a good photographer by posting only my good photos. This post is much closer to reality and that’s what I’m trying to share on this blog 🙂

      I appreciate your comment as always!

  15. Don’t feel bad… I think everybody makes bad pictures. And not having a good picture of some place is always an excuse to go back there and do something about it.

    Aren’t we supposed to learn from our mistakes?

    1. Hey Raf – You are correct indeed. I’m trying to learn from my mistakes although admittedly, the progress has been painfully slow. It looks like I’ll be returning to every place I visit several times until I get it right!

  16. Thanks for putting a great big ol’ grin on my face first thing this morning, Earl. Those photos are truly exceptional – exceptionally LAME that is! 😉

    But seriously – maybe you should just stick w/ close-ups – can you spell M-A-C-R-O?

    1. Hey Dyanne – Glad I got your day off to a good start 🙂 Lame is the perfect word to describe them I’ll admit. As for close-ups…perhaps I should try that out some more. Although today I took a macro of my glass of dragonfruit juice and let’s just say that it will most likely end up in the next installment of this Terrible Photo series.

    1. Hey Emma – So I guess I shouldn’t submit that photo to the Bosnian tourism board to help them attract more visitors??

  17. I do the same, solution was simple, buy a huge memory card and snap away at everything multiple times. Based on probability alone you are bound to get a good shot every so often (think blind squirrel & acorn). Oh and of course combine this with heavy editing to remove the many many terrible shots 😉

    1. Hey Dave – That’s an excellent solution to play the numbers game. At some point a good photo has to be taken, even by me. I just re-formatted my memory card so it’s ready for another 1000 photos or so!

  18. jaja I love these post they make me laugh. They make me feel I am not alone when I look back at my old pictures and hell even some now. I know for a fact I am learning more as I am on the road longer and the more pictures I take!

    1. Hey Jaime – I’m happy to know that you’re learning more as you travel. Why that isn’t happening to me is beyond comprehension. I seem to be heading in the opposite direction. Oh well, at least I can make a few people laugh from the ones I do end up taking!

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