Photography isn’t about just pushing that button. It’s about the experience of being there.Don McCullin
I suppose for me the main question the quote above provokes is, so where is ‘THERE’? While I enjoy taking photos close to home, ideally my answer to that question would be, somewhere new, interesting and different. Somewhere that takes me out of my comfort zone both photographically and more generally. Somewhere that isn’t HERE!
It’s only eighteen months since Anne asked us to define our ‘photography groove’. My answer then was travel photography, and now that John asks much the same question about our favourite style or genre, the road we most often take, my answer remains the same.
Travel photography isn’t a genre in the way that landscape or macro or street photography is. In fact, it’s all of those things and more, depending on where you go. I wouldn’t go on safari in Botswana with the aim of capturing candid people shots, or look for dramatic landscapes on city streets.
In the same way, I will choose a style that I feel suits my subject. While I sometimes opt for monochrome, I always shoot in colour. Sometimes I’m already aware that black and white will work better, or I may make that decision later. My preferred software on these occasions is always Silver Efex Pro, which has so many options and is fully ‘tweakable’. I also enjoy ‘colour monochrome’, filling my shot with a single colour. And on occasion I like to get creative and use software such as Color Efex to generate a very different look, maybe high-key or painting-like.
But always, the important thing is trying to convey the essence of a place in my images, so I must adapt my choice of genre and style according to that essence. Almost every post in this blog is an example of that. So today I simply want to share a personal favourite in each of a number of genres. To me these images reflect what I saw, and how I felt, travelling in a particular destination. Some of these shots may have appeared here previously; others will surely do so in the future, simply because they are among my favourites!
Little Bee-eaters in Senegal, 2016
Manhattan from the Top of the Rock just after sunset, NYC, 2008
High key edit
The view from Souimanga Lodge, Senegal, 2016
(vintage filter from Color Efex Pro)
Cascada Paine, Torres del Paine NP, Chile 2016
Young leaves, Selvatura Park, Costa Rica, 2022
(I don’t have a true macro lens but my Lumix bridge camera does a decent job of close-ups which I can then crop further)
Monochrome (black and white)
Buzludzha Monument, Bulgaria, 2019
(edited with Silver Efex Pro)
Grass in Mount Rainier NP, WA, 2017
My feature photo was also taken in Washington State, in the North Cascades
Fisherman in Fort Kochi, Kerala, 2017
Street musician by Jourdain metro station, Paris, 2021
Sunset in the Okavango Delta, Botswana, 2018
Early morning sunlight falling on an apsara carving, Angkor Wat, Cambodia, 2020
Elephant among papyrus reeds, Okavango Delta, Botswana, 2018
Can you imagine how hard it was for me to pick just one in each category?!
I’ll finish with another quote which says it all really:
Travel and photography have always been intertwined. I think we have such a brief amount of time in this world that I can’t think of a better use of my time than to travel, to photograph the world, experience life in different places. To me, there’s nothing more important than that.Steve McCurry