One of the best compliments I get on my travel photos is that I’ve “really captured the essence of the location.” When I hear that I know I succeeded at what I set out to do. Taking “nice” photos (and by nice I mean well-composed, technically correct, in focus shots) is something that goes without saying. No matter what you’re shooting these things are a requirement. You can travel anywhere and take endless “nice” shots. Whether or not they give the viewers a true glimpse into what it was like to be in your shoes in another story. The goal is to stimulate the viewers senses to the point where they feel like they themselves traveled right along side you.
In many ways, your camera gives you super powers. You have the power to dictate the lasting impression people will have of the places that you photograph. The scenes that you shoot, the mood you create when you shoot them, and what you ultimately decide to show to represent your trip makes all the difference in the resulting impressions.
When you travel to different places you get a feel for the locale by walking around and meeting the locals. Every city has a story and it’s your job to tell it. You have the advantage of seeing things at all angles. You see the good, the bad, and the sometimes ugly. What you decide to show should represent the overall feeling and vibe that you experienced.
I recently re-visited the artsy little island of Mohegan. The island is all about art, fishing, relaxing, and being transported to a simplier way of life. I wanted my photos to portray art, beauty, peacefulness, etc. I hope I nailed it . . . and made you want to visit the place.