Travel Photography is actually a detailed extension of Landscape Photography. Each place we visit has its own particular look, character, and ambiance. If we want photographs of our travels to be good and lasting, they should capture all of these qualities, and say as much about a place as given the literal look of it.
Landscape photography shows spaces, boundless and continuous. They notably represent the presence of nature, vast and wide, but can also represent man-made subjects.
Whereas Travel photography typically involves the representation of an area’s Landscape, it’s people, culture, customs, history, architecture, etc.
Travel Photography – Then and Now
It was not so long ago before Digital Photography really got us going when Photography used to be a very costly affair. Travel photography was a ‘protected’ zone for very few people. They would travel to some exotic and faraway places in order to bring back an accumulation of photographs showing monuments, customs, cultures, etc. we would not hope to see otherwise.
Then, as travel got a little easier and tourism started to bloom, Travel Photography changed from being a glimpse of the exotic and the faraway to providing alluring and aspirational photographs for travel guides and brochures. There, also, came to existence, a few professional photographers who would head out to locations, at the request of tour companies and travel guide publishers, to get the desired shots for their products.
Evolvement from Niche to Common
In this age of digital photography and easy access to the technology of taking potentially stunning pictures, Travel Photography has evolved again, to a further saturated state. Imagine a scenario, where locals, in destinations that you or I might visit, have access to photography and doesn’t need to travel anywhere to take great shots of their local area, armed with far better knowledge about those places than us.
So what is it that a travel photographer does?
I think there are three options:
- Quality specific shots
- Photo Blogging (which again can be developed to Travel Blogging/Writing)
1. Publications/ Photo editors/ Writers they look for photographs of important landmarks and locations. Sometimes, more specifically, of some festival, a particular time of the day, or in a particular light condition. A serious photographer would always look for a different angle of a common subject, to project it in a new and unique way. And they are more likely to work on it, waiting for the right quality and direction of light. This would result in a far more studied composition; and of course, a higher quality image.
2. Photo-essay is actually the contemporary concept of Travel Photography. By photo-essays, I mean a collection of images that have a cohesiveness and tells a story, whether about the trip itself, or a culture, or its history, or some festival. A collection that takes the viewer into a journey. The creative quality of the photographs is very essential here, they should not be just a collection of your holiday snaps. Thus, some research is also very essential for this. It is also advisable to be open about adapting to conditions/experiences on your travels.
3. With the evolvement of Travel Photography, Photo Blogging and Travel Blogging has also become an integral part of Travel Photography. A photo blog is generally a small/long description of a particular photograph. It can be about how to reach a particular place, what to eat there, etc. A travel photographer can be a Photoblogger or travel blogger, and at the same time, keeps the probability that some writer, who cannot travel or is in need of a particular photograph, might need his or her service.