A Quick Tour Of World Photography

Food photography? Travel photography? Evocative of its location, it's world photography because it goes beyond the depiction of a place to capture (no pun intended) the flavor of a location. I took it inside a restaurant in Beijing with the Nikon F4 and a 50mm Nikkor.
Photos © 2001, Jack Hollingsworth, All Rights Reserved

Ready to take the next step in travel photography? Then get ready for world photography. Open up one of the big travel magazines--Conde Nast Traveler, Travel & Leisure, Travel Holiday, Island--or one of the airline magazines or the travel section of a major newspaper like The New York Times, and you'll see it--world photography. It's a synthesis of travel, destination, fashion, culture, editorial, lifestyle, architecture€and more. World photography is interpretive, stylistic, colorful, striking in its composition, and, yes, it does bring attention to itself as well as its subject. Critics would say that's a bad thing. I say, who cares? If you agree that travel is deeply personal, visceral, intuitive, and passionate, then why not bring all those adjectives to travel photography. And when you do bring them, you're creating world photography.

This image of tango dancers in Buenos Aires is about the arts, the culture, the feeling of the location. I used an 80-200mm Nikkor zoom on the F4.

World photography is all about content and context, and personal style plays a significant part. You can call it travel photography with attitude. It's about how the photographer sees the world, and it's the way we can picture the deeply personal experience of travel in deeply personal pictures. It's about seeing, sensing, feeling. And there's truly a world of difference between world photography and travel photography. If travel photography is about taking pictures, then world photography is about making them. If travel photography is documentation, then world photography is interpretation.

Often world photography is the work of fashion, architectural, food, and nature photographers who bring their specialties and skills to exotic locations and use those locations as a setting for their work.

Incorporating fashion into a travel image, I made this in Buenos Aires in late afternoon light and used an 85B filter for added warmth. The lens was the 300mm Nikkor zoom on the F4.

When a travel photographer does world photography, he incorporates many of the same elements the specialist might: fashion, food, lifestyle, architecture. I've been doing it for some time, going beyond purely record shots of the places I visit to include glimpses of the culture, the fashion, the food. I want my pictures to say more than just "this is the place and this is how it looks." World photography says, "this is what it feels like to be here."

My aim was to capture what the temp of life in Rome feels like. More than a document of a place, it's about energy, emotion, and personal impressions. I used the 50mm Nikkor on the F4 and an 80A filter. The 1/15 sec shutter speed added the blur.

I came from a commercial photography background, and I found it natural to use those commercial skills--lighting, props, working with models--to create world photography.

Photographs of classic landmarks are not world photography, but when you incorporate other elements--a cafe, food, people, activities, events--you've made a world of difference.

Taken in New Delhi, this image adds portraiture and fashion to the travel palette. The result: world photography. I used a 50mm Nikkor on the F4 and added an 85C warming filter.

World photography happens in your choice of subject, in your composition and your style. Next time out, add something extra to your travel photography by testing out your ideas for world photography.