“When we are away from home, our creative juices tend to flow. Fresh eyes and a spark of awareness come easily when, pressed for time, we must capture some essence of the world in precious parentheses of our lives.”
TIP 1 — HOLD YOUR HORSES AND DO NOT PHOTOGRAPH!
You read that right, do NOT photograph—at least not yet. Put the camera aside and run a sensory
scan of your entire being in a new place or even a familiar place. Only by suppressing the urge to
lift the camera in order to take pictures, can we ask ourselves the most important question: "Why?” Then, with awareness of purpose, proceed to make pictures.
TIP 2 — REVISIT THE FAMILIAR
We don’t necessarily have to travel in order to make creative travel photography. Sure, it can be difficult to photograph our own neck of the woods, but by revisiting a spot we’ve already explored and simply changing our body position or the direction in which we glance, the time of day, the time of night, new discoveries are possible. Get outside your comfort zone and see what happens!
TIP 3 — SEEK VISUAL RELATIONSHIPS
When in “image hunter” mode, one way to "find" images is to focus on one visual element within our field of vision and then ask ourselves what else in the vicinity echoes or contrasts that element. Visual relationships can be defined by scale, repetition, opposites, positioning and many other serendipitous circumstances. Practice, practice, practice!
TIP 4 — GET IN YOUR OWN WAY
By placing relevant objects between our cameras and our main subject, we can actually enhance the essence of that subject. For example, if you’re photographing mountains in the distance, place a nearby natural element—like a flower or part of a cactus—in your frame to create an interesting
relationship, such as a sense of scale or a natural theme.
TIP 5 — YOU DEFINE THE ESSENCE
Often times, we seek to make travel images that can be easily understood by our audience. While this is a safe approach, we can cheat ourselves out of making the place we visit our own! That’s one of the most beautiful aspects of travel photography; we get to define the essence of a place according to our own visual voice. Do not be afraid to break the rules, even when portraying a famous landmark. Honor it by pointing out how you see it!
Want to learn more from Eduardo?
Join Eduardo Rubiano for more tips, techniques and personalized instruction to help you make meaningful, memorable, eloquent, intention-driven photographs during your travels when he teaches Developing Your Visual Accent, November 13-15