Blog #19 "Travel" Photography. For a few decades now, photography has been subject to categorisation and the application of genres much like music has been. Over the years, some have resisted this process of categorisation. For example, New York Photographer Gary Winograd from the 1960s - 1970s resisted the title "street photographer" in favour of simply being described as a photographer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wem927v_kpo . Henri Cartier-Bresson, considered by most to be the grandfather of street photography, and a master photographer in his own write, famously traveled and made brilliantly executed images of Shanghai, China, India, and other places around the world in middle of the 20th century. He also made outstanding images in his own backyard of Paris. Anther old school and talented photographer who helped to popularise and mainstream colour photography in the late 1960s and early 1970s was William Eggleston. He lived in Memphis, Tennessee in what some might consider less than ideal circumstances for an aspiring photographer. He made beautiful images of everyday items in his home town that went on to inspire others through his debut show at the MOMA in New York City.
What I am getting at here is that we all cannot be Steve McCurry and spend three decades hiking around India making photos for National Graphic http://www.featureshoot.com/2016/03/steve-mccurrys-unforgettable-photos-of-india-shot-over-3-decades/ . The colourful streets and people of India are all well and good but they are not the only subject of interest in the big wide world.But, then again, travel is not a necessary ingredient for the making of outstanding, interesting, and inspiring images. You don't have to live in Paris to make great photographs. Memphis does just fine indeed, as Eggleston famously taught us. Each photographer has their own backyard, so to speak, that begs to be explored and shared from a unique perspective.
Of course, it is nice to have the opportunity to travel since it opens our eyes and gets us out of our comfort zones as photographers. During my 2015 Project 365, I had the wonderful opportunity to travel more than I ever had in one year, in fact. This made for a wide range of subjects that were all represented in the Project 365. China, Macau, USA, and Japan, and of course my home of Hong Kong all made their way into the images from that project. All of those places were visited at least twice. The photo below Rising Sun Over Osaka Castle was made at sunrise over Osaka Castle, Japan. I am comfortable doing away with the genre "Travel" photography in favour of just simply, photography. Food is food, right? Sure, there are different combinations but it's all still food. Why can't photography just be like that.
In the next few months, I am planning to travel to Manila, Central Japan, Chicago, and the south of France after that. I will have a busy travel schedule but in-between I will be back home, here on this little island in the South China Sea. Let's see what my camera will bring home this time. As the old adage goes, It's good to get away, but it's great to come home.
May the Light Be with You, Always.