Bringing It All Back Home; The Best Place To Finesse Your Travel Photography Skills? Your Own Backyard Page 2

Early in my career I believed, as I think most aspiring travel photographers do, that if I could just go somewhere, anywhere, I'd surely get great travel pictures. What I learned is that travel photography is not entirely about going somewhere. It's mostly about the photographer and what he or she brings of themselves to the places they go.

Which is, I guess, a pretty long way around to what I want to say: Good travel photography starts at home. It starts with what you are and what you bring to the photograph; with what you can discover and capture. I know I bring the same sensibility to my photography no matter where I am. Sure, I get a buzz as soon as I put my foot on foreign soil, but I find I have the same sort of excitement shooting close to home, too. If you get excited by photography only if you're going somewhere, the place becomes the motivation, not the photography.

Chances are you're not going to be able to travel as much as I do, but I think you can make the most of the time you do spend traveling by working at home to finesse your travel sensibilities and sensitivities. Photograph the flower market down on Main Street and you won't be overwhelmed by the flower market in Zurich. I know that the portraits I did of friends and relatives aren't that much of a stretch to the portraits I did of Balinese dancers and Beijing Opera performers.

If you're a person who loves travel photography, don't ignore all the opportunities, or miss the wonderful experiences, you can have shooting travel content right in your own town or neighborhood. Idealize your own hometown. Romanticize it, too. I know I do. It's what I love to do, and it makes me feel right at home wherever I am.

That kid on the ship? He's still taking pictures, home and away.