Two young Buddhist monks in robes, carrying umbrellas
Lens-Artists,  Themed galleries,  Travel in general

Gallery: travel photography is my ‘groove’

I got no deeds to do, no promises to keep

I’m dappled and drowsy and ready to sleep

Let the morningtime drop all its petals on me

Life, I love you, all is groovy

Paul Simon, The 59th Street Bridge Song

For those of us who grew up in the sixties, groovy was the feeling we all aspired to. Groovy was exciting, fun, cool (another sixties word!) Too young to really be part of hippy culture, it nevertheless influenced my tastes in fashion and music. Getting ‘in the groove’ was where I wanted to be, even if as a schoolgirl I was probably very far from being so!

In this week’s Lens Artists Challenge Anne asks us which type of photography we most enjoy. What is our photography groove? That got me thinking. I guess we all lean towards certain photo styles: macro, street, landscape, wildlife, portrait. The list is endless, and we can all point towards the ones we enjoy, the ones we do rarely and maybe a couple not at all. I have never tried studio portraiture, for instance, and at present feel no inclination to do so. But show me an interesting face or character on the street and my camera is immediately pressed into action!

But is a groove necessarily a good thing or should we try to break out of it from time to time?

Your thoughts construct patterns like scaffolding in your mind. You are really etching chemical patterns. In most cases, people get stuck in those patterns, just like grooves in a record, and they never get out of them.

Steve Jobs

One needs only to remember that a groove may be safe–but that, as one wears away at it, the groove becomes first a rut and finally a grave.

J. Paul Getty

If you always take landscapes, maybe go in close for a macro shot of a single flower. If you always take architectural shots in cities, try some street photography.

That’s why I love travel photography, there’s always something different to see and photograph. On one trip the emphasis might be on wildlife and nature. On another, history and culture. But always there is the pleasure of capturing daily life in a place often very different from home.

So for this challenge I simply want to share some favourite shots that demonstrate the variety of photo opportunities to be had while travelling, focusing less on the big sights and trying to tell the story of each place. Because that’s where I really find my groove!

Look out of a train window

Station platform with two men
A station somewhere in Bulgaria

Or out of a car

Girl on a motorbike carrying chickens
On the road in Cambodia (note the chickens!)

Visit a market (it doesn’t have to be fancy)

Stall with display of vegetables in a market
A produce market in a village near Siem Reap, Cambodia

And see where the locals shop, even if there’s nothing there for you

Man in the doorway of a shop advertising car accessories
In Bidiyyah on the edge of the Wahiba Sands, Oman

Take your camera out at night, not just during the day

Tall buildings with neon signs and adverts
The bright lights of Shinjuku, Tokyo

And get up early

Lake reflecting warm colours in the sky
Early morning by Lake Crescent on the Olympic Peninsula

Maybe photograph a museum visitor as well as the artefacts?

Girl drawing in front of ancient statues
In the National Museum, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Ask if you can take someone’s photo –

they may well agree, especially if they’re a proud mother or grandmother!
Mother holding young boy in a colourful sling
In the village of Phang Som, Laos
Elderly lady with small child in a colourful sling
In the village of Phou Taen Khamu, Laos

Try to catch someone’s eye

Two women in a corn field
Working on a collective farm in the rain, North Korea

Or don’t

Two small girls with colourful backpacks walking away from camera
On the streets of Pyongyang

Ask your local guide to pose if there’s no one else around!

Man sitting on rocks
Said at the Wadi Nakhal viewpoint, Jebel Shams, Oman

Don’t forget to check out local transport

Man pushing a bicycle loaded with large sacks
In Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Look out for the wildlife (note, it may be trying to hide!)

Eyes and ears of a hippo emerging from water
Hippo in the Okavango Delta, Botswana

And the not so wild

Tabby cat
In Nizwa Souk, Oman

Lastly, remember the golden rule: take only photographs, leave only footprints

Footprint in white sand
At the White Sands National Monument, New Mexico


Do share your thoughts, I'd love to hear from you! And please include your name in case WP marks you 'anonymous' - thank you