First, before we get to today’s post, I wanted to thank everybody who joined us for ‘The Landscape Conference” this week. What a wonderful, gracious, fun crowd to present to (over 1,400+ photographers attended live), and it was such a blast. My humble thanks to spending a few days with us — we’re very grateful and hope you all learned a lot!
This question — what makes a particular photo a landscape photo versus a travel photo? — came up during my pre-conference session called “What Makes a Great Landscape Photo.” The question came from a participant who mentioned that he shoots islands in the Caribbean and Hawaii, and shooting those at dawn or dusk (like you normally would for landscape photos), doesn’t look good because without the direct sun, you don’t have that beautiful turquoise water. I mentioned during my session that I thought in this case that breaking the dawn/dusk shooting rule was totally fine because this sounds like more of a travel type photo. Later, in our closing Q&A session, he asked me to elaborate on why I felt it was a travel photo, rather than a landscape photo.
There is no official ruling body on this, so all I can give is my opinion on it, and here it is:
“When I look at an image like the island with palm trees surrounded by clear turquoise water, my first thought is, ‘I want to be there on vacation; on the beach, under an umbrella, with a piña colada, and a good book looking out at that scene.’ I’m thinking vacation, so I’m thinking travel photo. When I see a lake with a still water reflection with snow-capped mountains in the background, or a shot from Monument Valley or Yosemite, I’m thinking landscape. In short: I think the emotion or feeling a person has when viewing the image helps to determine to the viewer if it’s a landscape or a travel photo. I think of Norway as a landscape country, but at the same time, you can make wonderful travel photos there, but I leave it up to the viewer to decide which one a particular photo is.”
In the end, though — does it even matter? It’s not a negative thing if someone feels your landscape photo is a travel photo (or vice versa). What’s important is that they enjoy viewing the photo, and you enjoyed shooting it; not which category it falls into.
Hope that helps.
Thanks again to everybody who make the conference such a special event. I’m very grateful for the wonderful turnout, and for the honor of being in the company of such great instructors. It was a blast!
Have safe, happy, healthy weekend. #GoBucks, #GoTitans, and soon #rolltide!