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