Thoughts on Life, Art, Photography, Technology, Teaching and Travel…..

Visually Communicating Your Travel Experiences

Self Portrait Train Station Budapest

After 4 months of traveling through Central America and Europe via plane, train, buses, taxi and by foot, I got to thinking about the ingredients (methodology) to capturing great travel photographs.

I believe the best travel photography occurs when the photographer is able to visually communicate his/her travel experiences vividly into each photograph taken during a travel excursion.

Its not easy to consistently get visually dynamic and unique pictures of your travels.  Most of the time the photographs fall into the category of pretty snap shots.  That’s why I shoot a lot of photographs, keep my camera with me at all times and make it a point to keep my eyes open and mind alert for potential photographic opportunities.

Yellow Bike and Graffiti – Amsterdam, Holland

The photographs should convey the photographers experiences in an exciting, visually engaging and dynamic way.  I’m passionate about travel just as I am about photography. When the two meld together, hopefully my enthusiasm, curiosity and awe for the people and places I visit is embedded in my pictures.

Late Afternoon in Krakow

Traveling is a wonderful opportunity to see and experience other cultures, cuisines, people and environments.  Photography is a great way to capture those experiences and share them with the world both digitally and in print form, in addition to capturing those special memories from your various sojourns.

Bratislava City Square at Dusk

Your travel images should give the viewer a glimpse as to how you felt as you walked through the city center at dusk in Budapest, Krakow or Bratislava for example, or the intense emotions you felt while gazing upon the remnants of the Berlin Wall or the Holocaust Memorial.

Holocaust Memorial, Berlin Germany

So always keep your camera ready when you’re traveling.  It’s important to stay “in the moment” and “present” as you venture out for a day of site seeing, walking around an American,  European, or Central American city or hiking in the mountains of Tibet.

Two Nuns Walking out of Church, Northern Slovakia

Train yourself to be hyper aware of your new surroundings. Stay “in-tune” with the people you meet, the nuances of light raking across a city street, architectural elements, expansive landscapes and interior spaces you encounter.

Local Man with Cowboy Hat taking a break in Copan, Honduras

For me its the people I meet along the way that really makes travel so personally enriching.  I’ve learned and grown so much just by meeting people from other cultures (countries) around the world. I’m continually amazed at how people from all walks of life and cultures want to learn more about me and where I come from, just like I want to know more about them.  Making an effort to speak the local language goes a long way in breaking down barriers and opening up opportunities for your photography.  Once people realize you’re not trying to use them or threaten them with that camera of yours a whole new world of photographic possibilities open up for you.

Sisters in El Salvador

I have met some amazing and wonderful people in my travels through Central America and Europe these past 4 months. A smile and a few words spoken in the local language go a long way in making connections with people wherever your travels take you.

Red Boat in Canal, Amsterdam

So the next time you embark on a journey to another country or even a place you’ve not been in your own country be sure to bring your camera, a positive attitude, good walking shoes and your sense for adventure. I also find it very helpful to do a little research into the country I am getting ready to visit.  Learn some basic greetings and how to ask for the bathroom “WC” and of course how to request a beer in my case 🙂

Oscar Villeda from Guatemala just made a great comment to this blog post so I am quoting him here…“when it comes to travel photography a good indicator of how good your images reflect your good experience is other people wanting to visit the same place you visited, after seeing your pictures.”

Here are a few more of my favorite photographs from my last travel adventure. Enjoy!

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7 comments on “Visually Communicating Your Travel Experiences

  1. oscarvilleda
    November 15, 2012

    I believe that when it comes to travel photography a good indicator of how good your images reflect your good experience is other people wanting to visit the same place you visited, after seeing your pictures. The grates thing about photography is that if you want to take a picture of a sunset in the Mediterranean, you have to be at the Mediterranean during a sunset, there´s no other way. Anyways, great post, greetings from Guatemala!

  2. keoughp
    November 15, 2012

    Thanks for the comment to my last post Oscar! You are so right. “When it comes to travel photography a good indicator of how good your images reflect your good experience is other people wanting to visit the same place you visited, after seeing your pictures.” I will add this to the bottom of my post if you don’t mind. Great summation of travel photography! I am heading to El Salvador in December. Love Central America!

  3. joseph whichard
    November 17, 2012

    Great advice for everyone Patrick. Your body of work as always, is outstanding. Half of the fun of traveling is capturing these moments in time that we will most likely not experience again. For me, travel photography is my way of remembering the excitement and joy of being in new places. Capture photographs that vividly tell a picture of what you felt at that second. That is indeed when beautiful bodies of work like you have here evolve.

  4. keoughp
    November 18, 2012

    Thanks Joe! I agree that travel photographs bring you right back to that special moment in time when you were hiking the Rocky Mountains, climbing down the Grand Canyon or in my case standing in emotional awe in front of what was left of the Berlin Wall or on a brighter side photographing the beautiful children in Central America. We are always evolving as image makers and if we keep that in the back of our minds we can continue to grow.

  5. Roberto
    November 19, 2012

    Great photos Patrick … they made me feel like I was there !!

  6. keoughp
    November 20, 2012

    Hmmmm – You were Roberto and I enjoyed sharing the journey through Europe with you. Looking forward to the next one!

  7. Pingback: What a Long, Strange, Incredible Journey It’s Been….. | KeO BLoG

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This entry was posted on November 15, 2012 by in Photography, Travel and tagged , , , .
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