Travel photography

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A hot-air balloon flying over a pagoda in Bagan, Myanmar. The photograph being taken by Christopher Michel, a noted travel and adventure photographer.

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.[1]

Travel photography can either be created by professionals or amateurs. Examples of professional travel photography can be found in the National Geographic magazine and on Luminous Journeys. Travel photography is often shared through sites like Flickr or travel photography websites such as TrekEarth.

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.

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.

Consumers of Travel Photography[edit]

Besides the travel publications like National Geographic Traveler, Conde Naste Traveler, etc., the demand for this genre exists in industries like Travel, Photo Education, etc. Many travel photographers are today leading photo-tours, helping travel enthusiasts take great travel images during their trips. Many others are doubling up as educators in the field of ambient light photography. Some of them are doing assignments which intrinsically use their strengths, e.g. shooting exteriors or interiors of buildings for architects and interior designers.


Travel photography dates from the 1850s. Early practitioners include Francis Bedford, George Bridges, Maxime Du Camp, Solomon Nunes Carvalho, Francis Frith [2] and James Ricalton.

July 1903 - Zell am See - Alexander Eric Hasse


  1. ^ - What is a photo travel image?
  2. ^ Leggat, Robert. A History of Photography: Travel Photography (accessed 24 November 2009)

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