Photography is a skill, an art and a hobby that goes hand in hand with travel. For some it’s the sole motivation to travel, for others it’s a means to record memories of a meaningful experience or simply a way to share their encounters. The world is chock full of scenic vistas, vibrant communities and fascinating cultures, so how do you choose the best places to travel for photography?
To answer the question, I asked several travel and photography gurus whose work I personally admire, to share a favorite shot and tell us why the destination is the best place to travel for photography.
Choosing the best country in the world for photography is a daunting question, but a few places immediately come to mind. Of the short list though, I keep coming back to one – Jordan. The Middle Eastern country of Jordan may be small, but it is rich in beauty and hospitality. It’s a great place to shoot for all of the obvious reasons: sunset views on the Red Sea, moonscape images from Wadi Rum desert and of course Petra. But it’s also a great place for photographers for other reasons, like the warm and caring people of Jordan and of course taking shots of Jordanian food, some of the best in the world. You will need to take into account a variety of challenging situations such as sun glare and the corrosive properties of the Dead Sea. But after a little practice you’ll see why I think Jordan is one of the best places in the world for photography.
Wadi Rum desert is a truly unique place, resembling the moon more than anything on Earth. While staying in a Bedouin camp, we went out to catch a glimpse of the desert sunset and the dramatically changing colors of the rock and sand. I love this photo because I think it captures a feeling more than a moment in time. – Matt Long, www.landlopers.com/
Burma is the best country I’ve visited so far for photographing people. Unlike many other countries in the world where people are either shy or don’t like to be portrayed for religious reasons, almost everyone in Myanmar seem to be fascinated by a camera and the idea of having their image – and often their wonderful smiles – captured. – Simon Falvo, www.wild-about-travel.com/
The human side of a Myanmar monk as he takes a touristy photo at Shwedagon Paya with his mobile is one of my faves. – Kellie Netherwood, www.mydestinationunknown.com/
Traveling is a great way to put life into perspective. My mother, Lisa Lindblad, put it well when she said, “I’ve always wished that travel were a requirement and not a privilege.”
When you travel out onto the plains of East Africa you realize, it’s their world, not ours. This amazing eco-system is a marvelous place to travel for photography, although we must be careful not to ruin it in the interest of getting the shot. – Justin Lindblad, http://www,willingfoot.com
Selecting a favourite destination for photography is difficult; almost every country, city or landscape has something special to offer. If it is necessary to opt for just one however it will have to be Cuba.
The Caribbean island is a photographers dream with a fascinating culture. There is a photographic opportunity on almost every street corner in the many interesting cities and towns like Baracoa, Camaguey, Cienfuegos and of course Havana.
Choosing an image to portray the country took sometime; classic cars, delapidated buildings or musical performers are all iconic images of the island. However it is the people that make up the culture. Not the ‘models’ which pose in costume in the squares of Havana but the characters that are seen everyday on the streets of all the major towns. This gentleman is one of my favourites, his face is filled with character, telling the story of a long and hard slog through life.
Taking portraits like this requires establishing a rapport with the subject, hopefully getting them to relax enough to allow a candid moment to be captured. Being friendly is necessary, smiling when asking if it is possible to take a photo, if able to speak the language chatting while snapping away, putting them at ease. A long focus lens can also be used, taking the picture from distance but my preference is to get up close and personal. A sharper image is much more likely this way. – Iain Mallory, www.MalloryOnTravel.com/
An often forgotten, small country in SE Asia, Cambodia has unbelievable charm. Its most well known tourism site is Ankor Wat in Siem Reap, but I think the people are really the star attraction. The country is rebounding from unbelievable political tragedy with a new generation. The young population is friendly, kind and eager to improve their country. They are some of the hardest working people I have met in my travels. This shopkeeper in the marketplace was a delight as she proudly showed her racks full of handwork. – Mary Lou Boal, www.facebook.com/marylouboal/
Whether one travels far somewhere around the world or travels locally, the beach is always a great place to take photographs. As far as photography is concerned, the beach offers the whole spectrum…from a stunning sunset, to action shots or abstract shots, and even macro shots… the beach offers it all. – Henie Reisinger, www.HennArtOnline.com
Norway is a photographers dream with rugged coastal fjords, mountains plunging into the sea, historic stave churches and picturesque towns. For a real photography challenge, you can try to capture the ethereal glow of the Northern Lights as they streak across the arctic sky. I saw the magical lights there, but alas, my photos don’t prove it! – Beverly McLean http://ww.covingtontravel.com/
We travel the world for many reasons: to experience colorful cultures different from our own, to feast our eyes on awe-inspiring landscapes, to taste the fruits of a foreign land’s cuisine. Our travel experiences may be indelibly etched in our own minds but a photograph that captures the feeling and emotion of the moment brings the memories to life and allows us to share them with others. After all, “A picture is worth a thousand words.”
My sincere thanks goes out to each of my Twitter friends who shared these glorious photos. If you have a favorite place to travel for photography, please let us know in the comments below.
Covington Travel can help you plan a photography trip, complete with expert photography guides and tips on how to get the best shot, so you can capture the images of your dreams.