What’s a travel photo?

#TravelTuesday has landed again, and I’m here! I’m Dave Williams, and I’m here every Tuesday on ScottKelby.com with something from the world of travel photography for you all. Right now I have seriously itchy feet and I just keep scanning the internet for somewhere to go. Iceland is high up the list and I’ve also been looking at Patagonia, Canada, Greenland, Norway, Finland, and some sunny places, too. Anyway, the problem at the moment is quarantine – nobody is letting anybody in without quarantine, and the quarantine period is longer than the trip. But what about attracting people to the country or destination? How does that actually work and how do we play our part as photographers?

Travel photography explores and shares the dream of visiting faraway places, and perhaps that has never before been so true as it is now. Social media provides a seemingly endless supply of wanderlust-inspiring content and with a click or a scroll we can see almost anywhere in the world. As a profession, travel photography is all about creating images which do the following: –

Travel photography takes landscape and light and culture, a sense of place with no sense of time, while crucially encapsulating the essence of the destination and containing, within one frame, everything required to attain and retain the attention of the viewer and working to make that viewer want to be in the photo.

Travel photography that achieves this aim is all around us because this is the point of travel photography. We can see it in magazines, on postcards, on travel websites, on tour operator social media, literally everywhere that is trying to sell us the concept of travel, because these are the images that make the sale – the ones that make us want to be there.

Take a look at @STATravel on Instagram and notice how, on this account and many like it which sell travel, there’s a huge range of images which make us want to be in these places. There’s no consistent style, no consistent theme per se, no consistent subject, and all the images vary in their style. The one thing they all have in common is the feeling or, if you like, the result. They all make us want to be there.

Moving ahead in travel photography and learning how to develop yourself as a travel photographer is therefore about two things: –

First, we need to know and understand the technical and artistic elements of photography.

Second, we need to learn how to employ all the methods we learn to convey the sense of wanting to be in the images we create to everyone who looks at them.

There are many techniques to help achieve this: good composition, enticing leading lines, a clear and engaging subject, a sense of timelessness, and many other elements – the thing is, if it’s a well-considered shot at the time of taking it, this consideration will carry forward to those viewing the image and the passion of the photographer will shine through.

Take the time to consider your shots and think about what, in each particular scene, will make people want to be there.

Something to think about! Catch you again next week!

Much Love


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