A world of photography

Travel Photography

What makes a good travel photo? Is travel photography really a genre in its own right? Before we can answer these questions I suggest we need to define what we mean by the term. For International Salons run under the patronage of the Photographic Society of America (PSA) entries must conform to the following definition.

A Photo Travel image must express the feeling of a time and place, and portray a land, its people, or a culture in its natural state. Photo Travel images have no geographical limitations. Ultra close-ups, which lose their identity and studio-type model shoots, are unacceptable. Techniques that add to, relocate, replace or remove any element of the original image, except by cropping, are not permitted. Techniques that enhance the presentation of the image, without changing the photo travel content, are permitted. All adjustments must appear natural. The removal, or manipulation, of colours contained within the original image to enable the production of monochrome images is permitted.

The Royal Photographic Society (RPS) are more relaxed. In their recently launched interactive guide to applying for an Associateship in Travel Photography they advise that the ”one criterion which probably defines the category is a sense of place or related places.” They agree with the PSA that the place is unimportant and suggest that ideally the panel of images should be from one place (which could be as small as a beach or as large as a country). The RPS also don’t allow digital or other manipulation that significantly alters the truth of the event or situation.

Some of my pictures would fail some or all of the tests above. I like to think that most of them do convey a sense of place though. What do you think?