With spring in the air, one usually thinks of the flowers and trees in bloom.…
The art of travel photography has a long history, and the evidence of it is in the photos captured and shared. The oldest of these photos in existence portrays an ordinary scene in Saint-Loup-de-Varennes, France. It was a typical travel photograph,a shot capturing a small part of a city in a far away place. This genre encompasses all the reasons why people travel: the landscapes, the people and their cultures, the historic landmarks, and the beautiful customs. Travel photography is a way to get a glimpse of what life is like in other parts of the globe.
The photographers that shoot this style of photography often yearn to see the world and share its beauty with everyone. Their work is a constant reminder that although our lives may be different, we largely have so much in common. Through these expertly pointed lenses, our eyes are opened to see the beauty that exists in every corner of the world.
What better time than now to begin to explore travel photography and see places that we may have never visited? Here are five travel photographers to experience the world with.
1. Thierry Bornier
Initially living in China for work, Thierry Bornier decided to travel throughout the country for a year-long break. During that time, he fell in love with the countryside and the hidden elegance of China. He began photographing the landscapes he visited, one of which was even featured in National Geographic. He credits this as the launch of his photography career. Bornier sees landscape photography as his religion, and nature as the link to his spirituality.
Hani Terraces – this is the image that started it all for Bornier. The interesting shapes created by the rice paddies here in Yunnan accentuate the varying colors of the land and water.
The rounded tips of the Yellow Mountains in Anhui Province peek out of a sea of misty clouds. This perfectly captured moment gives the appearance of a dream-like vision.
2. Matthew Karsten
Hiking is one of the many outdoor activities that people seek out when they travel. Hiking trails also provide perfect vantage points for travel photographers. Matthew Karsten’s personal favorite is Greenland’s Arctic Circle Trail. Unfortunately, the area was devastated by a wildfire last year due to extremely dry conditions. With his photography, Karsten wants to remind people of the fragility of nature and how our actions can have detrimental and permanent effects.
A wildfire spread over 93,000 acres of Greenland, hitting the Arctic Circle Trail that is typically surrounded by glaciers. Travel photographers like Karsten see firsthand the effects of global warming when they return to locations they have previously shot and observe the noticeable differences.
Karsten is willing to go to the edge of the Earth to experience vistas like this one, shot in Antarctica. Since most of us won’t ever have the opportunity to go to a place like Antarctica, Karsten and his photos are truly a gift for viewers.
3. Jimmy Nelson
Many travel photographers focus on the people they encounter and document them through portraits. Jimmy Nelson began a project over a decade ago with a mission to photograph the remaining indigenous tribes around the world. Through his imagery, we can get a glimpse into their culture, their handmade clothing, goods, and wares, and their homes. With a virtual map and short descriptions about each culture, Nelson’s personal website is a great starting point to begin learning about these incredible indigenous cultures.
The Q’ero group of eastern Peru is said to be the last Inca community. Many Q’eros have remained in the Andes mountains of the Cusco region, formerly the historical capital of the Inca Empire. They’re known for their iconic magenta-colored clothing and the alpacas they raise.
The Wodaabe are nomadic people who move around North Africa during the wet season to trade and raise their Zebu cattle. They’re identifiable by their beautifully elaborate clothing and facial tattoos.
4. Andrea Gentl and Martin Hyers
Cuisine is a central component of many cultures and one that travel photographers love to showcase. Gentl and Hyers are a married couple who met while studying photography at Parsons School of Design. Since meeting, they have traveled the world together documenting the richness of different cultures. Their portfolio ranges from food and drink to still lifes and portraits.
The most outstanding photos of cuisines are colorful, convey texture and flavor, and make you want to have a taste. You can practically smell this vibrant display of sauces, herbs, and chilis. It’s photos such as this one that invite and encourage the viewer to learn about the culture and cuisine and to find recipes or restaurants in their cities to be able to sampleit themselves.
One of the perks of being a travel photographer is being exposed to a wide variety of local cuisines. Some photographers are even lucky enough to be invited into people’s homes and share a home-cooked meal with the locals. Travel photographers are able to capture the preparation, cooking, and the final dishes before sampling the food.
5. Adrienne Pitts
While home interior photos have become more popular over recent years, exterior photos of buildings remain a go-to staple. It’s through these photos that we are able to explore the architectural designs of different countries and cities. During her trips to Morocco, Pitts has honed in on the varying styles and colors of every city she visits.
The city of Chefchaouen is called the Blue City because of the varying shades of blue that color its buildings. It’s unclear why so much of the city is painted this way. The predominant theories suggest either a Jewish tradition or as a way to represent the calming waters of the Mediterranean Sea.
There is so much that captures the eye in the exterior shot of this Moroccan building; the arches of the doorways, the silhouettes created by dark hallways, the fine wood railings, and the beautiful gradient in the color of the walls. It’s remarkable how many beautiful details one can find in such a seemingly simple shot. This is the mark of an experienced and exceptional travel photographer.