Many photographers dream of traveling the world. Using a ship to access places they’ve seen online seems like a dream come true. Being able to travel is a privilege that a photographer can enjoy if they put time and effort into their craft. However, travel photography has changed a lot over the years. What was once an opportunity for a select few is now available to the masses. So, if everyone does this, is it possible to take unique travel photos in 2022?
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The birth of travel photography
Before the development of transportation, there was not much demand for travel photography. As countries built railroads, airplanes became commercial, and nationwide bus routes emerged, people branched out from their usual vacation spots. As photography developed and tourism grew, it made sense for publications and travel agents to use photographs to sell a dream to potential tourists. Fifty years ago, few people had a camera, compared to today’s society, where it is in every pocket. There wasn’t much tourism either, which meant that the opportunity to create never-before-seen images of travel seemed endless to those who could.
According to Our World Data, in 1959 there were only 25 million tourists worldwide. It seems to be a big number. However, this pales in comparison to 2018’s figures of 1.4 billion international arrivals. Along with the growth of tourism, the growth of the camera market and the development of the Internet, it has become easier than ever to create and consume more travel photos. Put it all together and you will soon realize that the world that once seemed endless in terms of exploration now seems tiny.
Travel photography glut
How many pictures have you seen from Taj Mahal? How many images will we see of Machu Picchu? It feels like everything that could be photographed has already been taken. Some might argue that doing travel photography is overkill, especially if you want to stand out from the millions of other people with cameras that take the same images. The reality, however, is that there is still a lot of land to see and share with the world. You just need to change the way you think.
How we feel about travel interests me endlessly. Many of our travels are based on what we love, rather than a thirst to explore the unknown. From birth, monuments such as the Effielf Tower, the Taj Mahal and the Great Wall of China have been considered the finest places on earth. Most of the best destinations in the world are dictated to us, not discovered by us. The reality is that many people leave these places disappointed. And the corollary of this is that social media and photography portfolios are literate with the same type…