I recently wrote about the tech I’ve put in my van to make it perfect for me as a travel photographer on the road. I was able to utilise my printer whilst in Scotland. Here’s how:
Living on the road as a travel photographer has its fair share of ups and downs. As the seasons change and the cold draws in I’m certainly beginning to feel it, but they do rightly say that bad weather makes great photos. In a recent post I explained my vanlife decision. Today I’m dropping back in on that subject with more detail about how my van is made for travel photography.
Blaine Harrington began his career in photography in the 1970s after a brief stint of racing motocross. His connections to the racing world led to assignments covering races around the country and in Europe – piquing his curiosity about travel. After studying at the now-defunct Brooks Institute of Photography, Harrington spent a few years working in fashion photography, but eventually pivoted to travel photography to sate his desire for the more authentic subject matter. His network and skill as a photographer allowed him to live a peripatetic life working for publications like National Geographic, Travel + Leisure, Delta Sky, and many more.
For many photographers, hitting the road and just spending all your time shooting photos is just living the dream. For photographers like Andy Best, it’s reality. In Living in Long Shadows from SmugMug Films, we take a peek into Andy’s work and some of the struggles he’s had to face living life on the road shooting photos with a family.
It’s been a while since we last saw a new film from SmugMug, but they’ve more than made up for it with this one. They’ve also switched from their usual relatively short format to something a little more long-form. This one lasts for 25 minutes and it’s fascinating all the way through.
I’m Dave Williams, a writer here at DIYP and a travel photographer, writer, and educator from the UK. For many years, just like a lot of other photographers, I worked a full-time job and shot on the side as a way to fund new gear. I progressed from funding gear to fund my life, with clients and partners forming throughout my journey. That hit a bit of a roadblock during the COVID pandemic and my travels ground to a halt – I suddenly went from around 20 trips a year to zero. That’s when I decided to make my daydreams a reality.
In March I took a hard-earned £5,000 and invested in a used Mercedes Sprinter 170 313 CDi. I spent four months converting it and making it exactly the way I need it to be and now it’s my full-time accommodation and off-grid, on-road office. The conversion wasn’t easy – I spent a night soaking wet during torrential rain with a leaking roof, I changed my mind on batteries and water tanks mid-build – but now it’s ready to roll.
In my mind I roam the American West and meander along the coast of the Adriatic Sea. I imagine myself at non-descript train depots in Kerala drinking chai with men donning patterned lungis and transport myself to Peru’s Sacred Valley picnicking on yams and grilled cuy. My dreamscapes include vast deserts, forest retreats, even chaotic urban mishegoss. In most of my daydreams, I have a camera by my side.
With COVID-19 far from being under control globally, widespread international travel remains elusive. But for those fortunate enough to be vaccinated and have the financial means, domestic (and even some international) travel options are slowly becoming available. With restrictions beginning to ease, many are starting to consider their next adventure and how to best visually encapsulate the experience.
If I should name only one thing I’ve missed since the pandemic began, traveling would be one of the first things to remember. Thankfully, we can still travel locally and look at magnificent travel images from abroad. So if you’d like to take a virtual trip around the world right now, join me on this journey through the winning images of Travel Photography of the Year for 2020.
Do you feel that all travel photos on Instagram are the same? A person with arms spread wide standing at the edge of a cliff. Someone’s arm reaching out into a beautiful scenery. A girl with a fedora hat in a flower field… Yeah, 100% Pure New Zealand feels the same. So, they made this hilarious ad to make people stop traveling under the social influence and encourage them to shoot something new.
Ok, I know this above title sounds a bit clickbaity – and to be honest, it is – proclaiming anything to “be dead” always sounds alarmist. But really, I don’t see a bright future for the medium I love.
Travel photography is either already dead, or is turning into something so far removed from the spirit of travel that it needs a new name entirely.
As traveling photographers, we often encounter locals who don’t share our language(s). If you prefer human interaction to googling everything, there’s now a perfect T-shirt for you. ICONSPEAK (see what they did there) has launched a line of clothing and accessories that will make interactions easier, more fun, and help you get the information that you need.