Travel Photography

We have been discussing  what kind of photography we fall in as toy photographers here on the blog. From the more classic still life photography some of us practice to the narrative/action Shelly suggested only recently here on the blog to other magical propositions. A most interesting question, with no easy answer.

So when I was walking from my hotel room through the narrow streets of the old city all the way to the palace on top of the hill to get some pretty pictures, it downed on me that my very first “portrait” shoot was me with a travel bag, and some of my very first “selfies” on IG where shot on pretty exotic locations (here is an old selfie doing a Rocky, which would clearly fall in the document/snap category of Jackie Higgings).  And here I was today 222 weeks after that iPhone Rocky selfie, still travelling with all my plastic friends and camera gear, discovering new cultures and countries and happily snapping away wide landscapes and plastic alike (this time with a DSLR and a bag full of glass and goodies).

I am not sure of me taking plastic places falls 100% in the travel photography category as outlined on wikipedia but there are some touchpoints:

” … Travel photography is a subcategory of photography involving the documentation of an area’s landscape, people, cultures, customs and history. The Photographic Society of America defines a travel photo as an image that expresses the feeling of a time and place, portrays a land, its people, or a culture in its natural state, and has no geographical limitations …”

Travels in the land of Norway
Travelling through Norway …

The feeling of time and place for those of us who take toy photography on the streets and into daily live is for sure a touch point …

” … Travel photography can either be created by professionals or amateurs. Examples of professional travel photography can be found in the National Geographic magazine amongst others …”

I think a lot of us tick the amateur box, and some may call themselves professionals by day, but like wise person not so long ago said we are entering the golden age of photography. Also, if my memory serves me right, some of us actually look to shoot their images in a natural habitat so they are worthy of inclusion in National Geographic Magazine …

” … Travel photography, unlike other genres like fashion, product, or food photography, is still an underestimated and relatively less monetized genre, though the challenges faced by travel photographers are lot greater than some of the genres where the light and other shooting conditions may be controllable.”

We are underestimated for sure, and I think we face some challenges once in a while (did anyone say Blu Tack  on a stormy day ?) …

This genre of photography entails shooting a wide variety of subjects under varied available conditions, e.g. low light photography indoors, available ambient light photography for exteriors of buildings and monuments, shooting on the streets where sometimes conditions may be hostile, capturing moments which rarely recur, capturing the magic of light while shooting landscapes, etc. … “

The Laponian Gate ...
The Laponian Gate protected by Pirates

I for sure feel at home in shooting plastic on the road capturing the magic of the light in a wide variety of locations and conditions. And  I know some of you also travel with your toys great distance and make them part of your travel and your photography.

So, would you call yourself a traveling toy photographer dabbling in travel photography ?

A question, I will be exploring in more depth during 2016 while I take a deep dive into David Hobby (aka the Strobist) travelling photographer series on and explore my travelling workflow in more detail (did anyone say iPad Pro, Adobe CC and a pencil ?)

Care to join ?


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Boris, Considering how much time you spend on the road, the idea of travel photography makes all the sense in the world in conjunction with your photography. While I enjoy traveling with my mini figures and have plans to do more of that in both 2016 and 2017, I do not do it to the extent that you are able to. Plus, the photos I take under those circumstances are strictly for my own amusement, a way for me to connect with the surroundings and my family in a different way. I look back over the last four year of… Read more »

Maëlick (aka Reiterlied)

I’m also lucky having a job that allows me to travel far away quite often. Thus travel photography is something I practice a lot and probably even more than toy photography. In terms of quantity my travel photography is far more successful than my toy photography: for 2015 on my disks I have around 900 photos of toy vs. 6000 from my travels. Despite my initial motivation with toy photography was to mix it with travels, I can never focus correctly on my toys when traveling. While I have a few traveling toy photos and I would call myself as… Read more »