Why Travel Photography is Inherently Challenging

Why Travel Photography is Inherently Challenging

Why Travel Photography is Inherently Challenging

Your photograph’s viewers only know what you show them.

Hong Kong from The Peak

Hong Kong from The Peak

They don’t know what it felt like to be there; they can’t smell the air or feel the wind brush against their face. The awe you might feel while looking down at Hong Kong from The Peak doesn’t readily translate to an awe-inspiring photo.

This is why people still hire professional photographers to shoot events in an era where everyone has a camera. Professionals know the difference between an interesting experience and an interesting photograph. One of the most challenging tasks for travel photographers is finding scenes that are photographically interesting in the midst of all that travel excitement.

Interesting Experiences Don’t Always Mean Interesting Pictures

As you’re out looking for good pictures, keep in mind that you’ll frequently find interesting travel experiences that don’t readily translate to a good photo. Amateurs and new photographers have a tendency to take pictures of everything in the hope that some of those shots will come out nicely. This “shoot everything” mentality is detrimental to quality travel photography for two reasons:

  1. You’ll recognize fewer scenes that are worth capturing.
  2. You’ll miss out on the travel experience of being there when your camera’s glued to your face.

Good photographers know that it’s perfectly okay not to take the picture.

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Comments ( 4 )

  • Joanne Joseph

    Your article hits home with me. As an amateur photographer, I am in the category of taking too many pictures in the hope of getting a few good ones. Tomorrow we head out the door for our first trip to Thailand. It will be a interesting challenge for me to find a good balance between getting “the shot” and actually seeing and experiencing all that is Thailand. I shall try to remember your advice!

  • Emily McIntyre

    Wow, this is an awesome article–though I found myself wishing there was a lot more, and more practical, points to it! I am often guilty of just shooting everything in hopes that I’ll find a memorable photo, and I often do. But it’s interesting to me to see that, for example, from a recent autumn parade I shot, out of probably 200 photos (!) one photo of a little boy holding a plastic basket for candy in front of a stopped train actually captured the day in an interesting way. I featured it on my blog here: http://www.softexplosions.com/moment-suspended/

    Anyway, thank you!


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