Learn about the methodology behind my travel photography, ethics of editing photos, and how I make a business of travel photography.
Photography is not the art of buying the best gear. Instead, it is the art of telling a visual story. All that is required for great photography is a great story.
That is not to say good photographic practices should be ignored. Photos should always be properly exposed, in sharp focus, and usually following the Rule of Thirds.
But those practices can be achieved just as well with a cellphone camera as with a $5,000 DSLR. It’s not the camera that captures a great photograph – it’s the photographer.
A great photograph never captured itself. Photography is a time-consuming art that requires a certain level of dedication.
Travel photography requires something greater. Not only do you have to be dedicated to capturing the photo, but you have to take the camera with you everywhere. Hiking trails, museums, and most especially in the restaurant where you have to capture photos of a delicious plate of food before eating it.
Henrik Ibsen, a Norwegian playwright, once said, “A thousand words leave not the same deep impression as does a single deed.” This statement has since evolved into the common quote we see today.
The goal of travel photography is to tell the story of a destination in images. Sometimes, a single image can tell an impactful story meant to inspire a visit. Other times, it takes an entire photo essay. Either way, a great photo is required if any story is to be told at all.
The goal with my travel photography is to tell a story – but I don’t know where that story will be told. This website is a start, but not the limit.
First and foremost, my travel photography is used in blog articles I typically write free of charge. I earn money with affiliate links and the occasional sponsored post.
But my biggest dream is to have a story published in a magazine, on the cover, using one of my travel photos. That means I need a great portrait orientation image to go along with the story.
Every time I press the shutter button to capture a photo in the landscape orientation, I immediately rotate the camera 90 degrees and frame a portrait version. I use whichever version is best on the website – typically the landscape orientation – but I always have the other version just in case it’s needed.
It’s always good to have the option – even though it does mean more work processing the photos later.
In the age of Photoshop, it has become commonplace and entirely too easy to remove unwanted objects from a photograph.
I never remove anything from a photo that changes the story. Power lines across a landscape are about the most extreme case of “photoshopping” I’ll employ.
Why is this important? Because it means my photography tells the real story, not an unrealistic photoshopped version. Nothing is more disappointing than arriving at a destination to find it looks nothing like the pictures.