Some of my favorite travel photography was created decades ago when the world still seemed a mystery and far away places were truly exotic. But today, air travel, television, and the internet have made even the most foreign scenery somewhat familiar to us.
From Vietnam to Vancouver, while on vacation I take as many snapshots as the next person.
But once I’m home loading pictures into iPhoto, I’m often surprised to see that my most interesting images are of the least expected subject matter.
I like to apply this theory to collecting travel photography as well, in order to curate a compelling group of unique photographic images. You’ll notice in the pair of New York images above – as well as in the pairings of Italy, Greece and beach images below – an obvious image is juxtaposed with something less expected and therefore a bit more enticing.
For me, the challenge to collecting travel photography is to evoke a sense of a place without falling for the obvious images of that place.
Case in point: At the beach house where we stayed during a recent holiday in Florida, I came face to face with a terribly boring group of artworks. These images added next to nothing of interest to the home simply because the subject matter was too similar to what we saw outside during the day. If a person sits poolside every night watching the sunset, why hang a photo of that same sunset in the living room? The redundancy didn’t do much for me.
Take your travel photography collecting to the next level- don’t miss an opportunity to let your original art collection add impact to your surroundings. When it comes to travel photography, go a step beyond clichéd subject matter. Images that maximize intrigue and minimize the obvious will bring you years more enjoyment and may even enhance the mystery of all the places you’ve visited, or dream of visiting one day.