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 Sinclairification by Grant Sinclair

Defining Travel Photography

07 May 2008

In order to understand the purpose of this site, we need to first figure out what we’re doing.  Namely, what is travel photography?  Are the tourists on the Great Wall of China with their small disposable cameras and the professional with the Canon SLR both considered travel photographers?  Quite simply, yes.

By the simplest terms, if you
A) Visit a place and take photos while you’re there, be it South Korea or Buffalo, New York
B) Travel to a place with the purpose of photographing that place, you are a travel photographer.  True, there are many variations between the two descriptions, but they are both inherently accurate.  Both hold the same requirements: 

-You are going someplace.
-You are taking pictures while you’re there.
-You are responsible for coming back with good pictures to relay your experience while traveling.

That’s not to take all the people who have studied the art of photography, taken photo journalism classes and studied photography for years and lump them in with someone who passively buys a camera before a trip and only comes home with four pictures.

These people have a much different level of involvement and dedication to taking photographs while they travel. 

The more professional people usually know where they are going within a specific place before they go there.  The intention of the trip is more to take pictures than anything else, depending on the assignment.  They read maps and look at the weather, know what time they have to be in a specific location, what temperature, light and humidity to expect and often spend long periods of time in a single place to get just the right shot.  It can be argued that these people are more photographers than they are travelers.

There are people who aren’t as dedicated to the subject of travel, but want to take good pictures.  If they are tourists traveling as a large group by bus or individuals or pairs backpacking across trails, they still want to take the best pictures possible.  However, they are usually bound by certain limitations, like the tour group has to keep moving, or their travel partner wants to do something other than sit in one place for hours on end waiting for the right time to take a picture.

The main issue that keeps these people moving is usually time.  They may not have the time to invest in taking one or two really great pictures of a single thing when they could be visiting the place they’ve come to see and can take a lot of mediocre or pretty good pictures.  It can be argued that these people are more travelers than they are photographers.

What we’re trying to do at Get Out The Map is help the travelers take better pictures.  We’re not going to promise you’re going to take National Geographic-quality pictures after using this site, but hopefully your photography will improve.

To take really, really good pictures of anything require photography classes, patience, time, dedication, practice and, sometimes, luck.

This site is for anyone who wants to come home with better pictures, but amateur photographers will probably take away more from this than professionals, who don’t need our advice.

While the main focus is on photography, we also offer advice on travel.  Tips, tricks and other things learned out in the world that may help anyone, regardless of their travel experiences.

If you have something you would like to share that may benefit the travel/photography community, please submit it at our Contact page.

Thank you for stopping by! 

© 2008

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