Travel and photography go hand in hand. This month we shared some of our favorite photo related travel quotes.
No place is boring if you had a good night’s sleep and a pocket full of unexposed film.
~ Robert Adams
Photography is a form of time travel. ~ Neil DeGrasse Tyson
The only things I own which are still worth what they have cost me are my travel memories…
the mind-pictures of places which I have been hoarding like a miser. ~ Burton Homes
Travel becomes a strategy for accumulating photographs. ~ Susan Sontag
If you need help organizing and preserving your lifetime of photos, videos and keepsakes, find a photo organizer near you at the Association of Personal Photo Organizers.
Travel becomes a strategy for accumulating photographs. ~ Susan Sontag. Funny, when I read that, I totally related to it, as someone who was a professional travel photographer for over 20 years, that sentiment was right on. As luck would have though, I have been reading Sontag’s On Photography, the collections of writings she did about photography, and just came across that passage. Turns out she did not really intend it in a positive way. She was essentially saying that when we travel, we can often use the camera and the act of photographing as a way of limiting our experience of traveling. “Travel becomes a strategy for accumulating photographs… Most tourists feel compelled to put the camera between themselves and whatever is remarkable that they encounter… Using a camera appeases the anxiety which the work-driven feel about not working when they are on vacation and supposed to be having fun.” Ouch!
I noticed during the beginnings of my travel career that I tended to shoot scenes from a distance and avoided contact with my subjects. The photos were often disconnected and not very engaging. I realized that travel was about connecting and the best and most obvious way to do that was to talk to my subjects prior to photographing them. I could ask them questions and engage with them. At that point asking them to pose was easy and always resulted in a far better photo than if I settled for a candid shot. Most importantly I could look at that photo months or years later, and remember the connection I made with that person, the experience lived on in the photo.
Maybe I also learned something from that person (even if it was in sign language), and occasion they might invite me to share a meal with them or a drink. They often would tell me about places and subjects off the beaten track that other tourists or pro photographers would not know about. I teach my students this approach because honestly, it can be applied whether you are visiting across the ocean or photographing across town. Connection is what we want when we travel and photograph, the camera can be a tool to either enable this or distract from it.