I like to travel, perhaps not as much in today’s security obsessed world as I used to. Also, as I get older the rigors of transporting so much heavy equipment takes its toll. Nonetheless, the thrill of seeing new places on our amazing planet, as well as the challenges of interpreting it artistically, keeps me on the road for months every year.
Travel photography presents us with enormous challenges, both technical and philosophical. Obviously, we cannot have with us all the gear we would like. That is why I always research the area first, to try to gain an understanding of the people and their struggles, and the environment I will be experiencing. Before I even leave I have an idea of the images I’d like to capture and the story I might like to tell. Yet I’m always open to new and exciting possibilities, surprising twists and turns that lead me to those elusive travel images.
But travel photography is also intangibles. When I was honored with the Canada Northern Lights Award for Best Travel Photography for a body of work, I reflected on what is the essence of the craft. I can’t say I came up with anything original. Yet this much I do know; that travel photography is about people, not just places. It is about what binds us as humans. Snapshots of iconic places is not travel photography to me. If I miss the opportunity to bond with the people, the culture of the places I visit, I know I have failed as a travel photographer.