Travel inspiration surrounds us, there is a multitude of ways in which we can travel vicariously. Photography in epic films which span the globe, travel and natural history documentaries, magazines, books and personal websites offer ample opportunity to view the world from the comfort of an armchair.
Since the introduction of digital photography and the popularity of social media exploded, the number of available images has increased beyond all expectations. The internet has become saturated with what is commonly termed as travel porn, evocative and often stunning images of the world. Every traveller with a camera is now capable of capturing high quality images and uploading them to the internet. There isn’t even a need for a computer, most devices can now upload directly.
The challenge photographers have always faced is attempting to find something different, a more interesting perspective that hasn’t already been produced. This challenge has become more difficult by the flood of uploaded images to the world wide web. Capturing a different view of a popular landmark, photographed thousands even millions of times already, is not an easy task but one which faces every photographer.
We have all seen many images of the Taj Mahal, Grand Canyon, Eiffel Tower or La Sagrada Familia, most are attractive, appealing but few are different or genuinely stimulating. For an image to truly stand out it needs to offer the viewer with something more, a different perspective, to spark interest it requires the photographer to portray it in a way that stimulates.
This may require arriving before all the other visitors, remaining long after they’ve left, or walking around for many hours to find an unusual view. The simplest way to find an unusual perspective is to take plenty of photographs from different angles and using the of creative modes of the camera. Review the results during editing, view them with a critical eye and attempt to select which angles and techniques provide the most captivating image. In time this will enable the photographer to anticipate the most suitable composition and creative mode without the need for dozens of captures.
This skill is honed over time, the more the photographer practices taking unusual images, training their eye to select what appeals beyond being merely pretty the easier it will become. It will also improve creativity as the photographer will more readily experiment with their technique.
This style of photography will enhance all images, not exclusively for landmarks but for all the images captured. Whenever exploring with a camera it is important to remain observant, look a little closer and try to find an unusual and different perspective. Walking the streets and seeing beyond the ordinary will be productive, search out markets or unusual architecture which make ideal subjects, everyday items like washing lines or cars on the street.
This will add variety to any portfolio, more colour, surprising street scenes, unusual sights all which tell a story and are more likely to stimulate a response. Everybody that has ever taken a photograph has received a compliment like “oh that’s lovely” but to generate genuine variety is needed, select images which are different enough to capture the viewer’s imagination.
It is a skill which maybe learned in your local neighbourhood, exploring the local vicinity and seeing it differently is the ideal place to start. It is likely that there is a great deal within a 10 minute walk of the front door which has not been noticed before. Learn your trade where you are most familiar, readily find the cool and stimulating, become proficient and find more time to enjoy travelling and not just seeing destinations through the viewfinder of a camera.