Travel Photography: The Rewards
There's a lot of reasons that make travel photography difficult in many different ways. Yet, there are so many people who wanna do it, it's amazing. I think if there was a questionnaire when you graduated from high school, and forget the current job world that we had, if you could just choose any job in the world, I think travel photographer would probably be second-most popular on the list. I think first-most popular would be rock star. (audience laughing) I think everybody wants to be a rock star. But I think, typically, when people get a little bit older, for the most part, once they hit 30 or 40, they're like, "OK, maybe the rock star, I don't need. "But I like the travel photographer." And that's because you know when you go out doing this, it's gonna lead to some of the most memorable and rewarding experiences of your life. And that has definitely been the case with me. A few photos of times when I was out traveling and there was just really special moments, and photography chang...
es it a little bit because it really pushes you to find these peak moments. It really encourages you to go up and interact with people you may not interact with. You get to immortalize those quiet moments walking those small streets. It impacts the way that you see the world. And so, travel is obviously gonna lead you to new perspectives, that's just what travel does. But, by pursuing photography, it's gonna make what you do more interesting, more unique, and more permanent. And so, I think traveling with a camera is a fantastic thing to do. And really, it makes the whole experience better, at least for me. And I think it can do that for a lot of other people. So, in this class, I've had to decide a lot of things about what we're going to talk about 'cause this could be probably about a five-day class. And we're gonna have to keep it tight to keep it into this single time frame that we do have. And so, I'll warn you right now, I'm not gonna help you out with Photoshop. We talk about Lightroom for maybe one or two slides. I'm not really into drones. They're fantastic, I love the video you get from 'em. Legally speaking, traveling with them, it's a nightmare. It's a whole other thing on drones. I love watching video, but this class is not about shooting video. We're not doing the business of photography, although we'll talk just a little bit about it here and there. And so, we're gonna stay on topic with travel photography here. As many of you know, I do teach a number of other classes here at CreativeLive. And so, some other classes that might be good to go along with this is my Fundamentals of Photography, which is just about photography. The equipment guide will be a little bit on the thin side, and so there is a free class called Camera Buyers Guide which will help you figure out which cameras are best for different types of things, and I do have my picks for my favorite travel cameras in there. And then, there is using your lenses. And then, I have, wow, it is over 60 different classes on how to use different cameras. And when I say that, 60 different classes, it makes me feel that my life has gone awry somehow if that's what I have done (laughs). But if you wanna know how to use your camera, there's plenty of these classes out there. Now, where does this class come from? It comes from me and my experiences and kinda my opinions. As I say, I've got to travel to hundreds of different locations all around the world. Here's kind of a collection of 'em. But I think what's also helped is I have 'traveled in many, many different ways. I have been on large cruise ships, medium-size cruise ships, small-size cruise ships. That should cover it, right? (audience laughing) Ah, no, I've been on yachts, canoes, kayaks, water skis, well, actually, no, that was just last weekend, hiking, biking, canoes, I already said canoes. Hiking, biking, let's see, what else. I've been on road trips alone, road trips with friends. I've worked on a travel TV show. I've traveled for work, I've traveled with my family. And so, pretty much every scenario that you might possibly find yourself traveling in, there's a pretty good chance that I, too, have traveled in that mode. And photography takes a different position in every one of those trips. And it's up to you to decide how much of this you need to incorporate into your next trip. Now, I know that some of you are saying, "John, you are talking way too much. "Give us some information." So, let's go with some quick travel tips. So, let's go, top 10 quick travel tips. Number one: just staying lightweight. Try not to carry too much. Weight is the enemy. Yes, you're gonna need to read the guidebooks to figure out where the major attractions are, but it's always finding your own little nooks and crannies is where you're gonna end up with some of your most special photographs. Be happy. What I mean by number seven here is that you don't wanna be eating during the beautiful sunsets. Earlier or later is better. Save those good times for out shooting photographs. You're gonna be traveling to some different locations, and there's all about makin' the world a better place, but there's a time and place for doing those sorts of things. And so, there's a lot of different styles out there. Sometimes, I recommend going really light, like leave the camera bag at home, just take your camera and one lens. But do bring a battery and memory card and a cleaning cloth, just 'cause things happen while you're out there, and those are the ones that you can easily carry with you. I no longer take photo advice very seriously when it comes to where to go. And I have had too many good, fantastic photos happen in places that I was not expecting, that I am very open to almost any place. In fact, I went to a garbage dump in Cairo, Egypt that was fantastic. Everything takes longer when you don't know what you're doing and you don't know where you're going. Think about how efficient is that most of you can travel from home to work. You know the routes, you know which lights, you know what streets to take. Now, take someone from another country, put 'em at your home, tell 'em to get to where your work is, and see how long it takes them. And so, that's what happens to us when we're traveling. You know, you just can't shoot good pictures when you're hoppin' around (laughs). And so, just utilize every bathroom opportunity you can. And number one. If you're not feeling good, you're not gonna be shooting photos. And so, there's a lotta things that we'll talk a little bit about here, but you gotta be feelin' pumped up when you're out there and feeling good and positive about what you're doing 'cause then, you're gonna be able to focus your energy on your shooting photos. So, I think these are good, quick travel tips. We may not talk about these. We'll talk about a few of 'em later on, but I think they're a good way to just kinda kick off the way that I like to think about travel photography.