When we go travelling, the camera is almost as important to us as the passport. Most Danish families have several photo albums full of photos from exotic places. You will get the best travel photos by knowing a little about your destination beforehand and by asking for more information when you arrive. The locals can always lead visitors to the best subjects and the greatest experiences.
A Photo Adventure
The world is teeming with subjects, and our imagination is the only limit.
Get the Broad View
Subjects for your photos are simply all over the place when you are travelling. Everything is different and exciting, but before you rush headlong into doing a thorough documentation of entire regions or towns, forming a general view is a good idea. Use travel literature, a guide book or the knowledge of local residents in order to find the most interesting subjects. These sources of information can probably also advice you on what time of the day will be best for shooting.
Variety is the keyword when you want to document foreign parts of the world. Try capturing the whole picture and take care not to end up with photos of tourist attractions that have been shot thousands of times before. Old ladies in the marketplace, exotic plants, old fashioned sailboats, wild animals, street merchants, beggars, abandoned buildings, monks, outdoor life, festivals or religious events. Your imagination is the only limit. You may even try using your own feet in order to create a more interesting photo.
Showing family and friends photos of your exotic adventures is always a pleasure.
Ask For Permission
When you are shooting in unfamiliar parts of the world you sometimes have to show a little caution. It is fortunately quite rare to experience any problems, and, if so, it almost never happens at destinations that receive many tourists. Nevertheless, using a little common sense is always a good idea.
Religious events is a subject that you need to approach with a little caution. In Denmark the rule is that you are allowed to photograph anyone in the public space. Some religions, however, do not display the same tolerance or adhere to the same rules as we do in the North. If you are planning to take photos in such a place making eye-contact will help quite a lot. Show your camera and make sure to get eye-contact with one of the locals. Give him a smile. If your smile is returned you can be quite sure that taking photos is alright. This way, you do not need to speak the same language in order to find out if taking photos is permitted or not.
In some countries, social and cultural matters make caution necessary when you want to take photos. Still, it is all about showing common sense. For instance, you should not take photos of veiled women without first obtaining their permission, even more so, if they are walking in the street with their husband.
It is better to ask once too many than once too few. This rule particularly applies to taking photos of veiled women, religious events, et cetera.
These cute kids were shot in Eastern Nepal in an area very rarely visited by tourists. They found having their photo taken exciting, and they did not ask for anything in return. We showed them the photos, laughed together, and played with them, it was a positive experience for all of us. If you shoot kids in the capital city of Kathmandu they will often immediately ask you for money. They are quick to figure out that they are able to make more money being photographed by tourists than they would going to school or working. That is why we, on principle, never give money to people we shoot around the world. Because, doing so, you contribute to a development that, if worst comes to worst, keep children in the street for the rest of their lives.
Depending on where in the world you are travelling, the local weather may be highly unstable. Other locations can be extremely sandy or dust ridden. Follow this link to read more about how you can protect your equipment efficiently.