Photography didn’t interest me until we started our travel blog. I blame my own laziness for my lack of interest. I preferred observing, getting lost in my thoughts, and writing about our experiences in the comfort of our apartment. I was extremely lucky that my significant other/travel partner took an avid interest in photography. Our combination clicked and I always had a fantastic collection of pictures for the blog. His photographs also served as memory pointers for our trips. So far, so good. Well, things changed when we moved to Seoul, and I started exploring on my own. I couldn’t be lazy anymore or bark out orders. I needed to do the hard work myself. And, believe me, travel photography can be pretty rough for a lazy soul!
Now, if you’re looking for advice from an expert, might I warn you, this post will disappoint. This post doesn’t aim to educate you. It doesn’t have a technical know-how of shutter speed, lens correction, exposure time, raw images, and other photography jargon that you’d expect from a post like this. I assume the internet is flooded with ample material on the topic and I am no match for it. If you’re a professional photographer, you might have rightly guessed by now, this post would be a waste of your time. But, if you’re a newbie, like me, struggling to learn the tricks of travel photography, and are a little lazy to get lost in technical jargon: hang on. I think my observations might prove to be beneficial.
Fortunately, we’ve met some interesting kinds of travel photographers on our travel journey. It’s not always about the lens you know. It’s who’s behind it. And what they see — when they’re looking into the lens. Essentially, a photograph is a capture of a temporary moment in time or a photographer’s perception of what lies before the lens. Blink and you might just miss that moment!
After careful observation and trailing photographers for a reasonable amount of time, I think I might have hit the jackpot. These are the 10 qualities that every aspiring travel photographer must aim for. It won’t be easy. But remember: success favours the hardy.
1. Learn to perfect your balance.
2. Be patient for time to take its course.
3. Be prepared to work with diverse subject material.
4. Willingly put your life in seemingly innocuous, but obviously dangerous situations.
5. Perfect the art of finding quiet corners — away from the herd.
6. Learn to step on toes if required.
7. Be prepared to risk expensive material for a shot.
8. Always be prepared for anything.
9. Resist the urge to be enamoured by nature and focus on the shot instead.
10. Keep up with the times and learn to take that ‘travel selfie’.