Travel Photography Subjects: Economy - Digital Photography School

Travel Photography Subjects: Economy

Economy The economy.  It’s a hot topic whether it’s a boom year or a bust.  Every country on the planet has many forms of commerce that power its society.  To get a feel for the local economy you may need to do a bit of digging.  You can take a multilevel approach to capturing how your travel destination exchanges money and goods.  Start with where you are.  If it’s a tourist area the pickings will be easy; street carts, souvenir shops, fast food restaurants, people peddling their wares.  And if that’s where your comfort level ends, feel free to skip to one of the other travel photography subjects listed below.

If you’re feeling the need for more of the picture (pun intended), start expanding outwards beyond the area around your hotel.  Look for fueling stations and grocery stores and note prices.  Wander along busy streets get a feel for how much traffic is pedestrian and how much is commerce.  Is there a well organized goods distribution system with trains, cargo ships and freight trucks or are things more haphazard in a one-off fashion?  What kind of goods are being moved around the country?  Are they made local or imported?

Not satisfied with just wandering around and observing?  Find a local industrial area.  This can be a fishing marina, steel mills, textiles or any number of other operations available in the local community that produce goods or services.  It can also be the financial district of larger cities or technology, entertainment or dining enclaves.  You may need to be cautious around certain industrial areas (power plants and very private companies come to mind).

These are just a few of the possibilities when looking to document the economy of an area you may be visiting.  The list can go on and on, but the important aspect of this travel photography subject is to step outside your normal way of viewing a destination and scratch a little beneath the surface.  From prosperous to poverty stricken, a country’s economy will likely have a unique feel, even while it may be similar to its neighbor.  It may be subsisting upon mostly internal trade on scant natural resources, or it may be an exporting power house.

While you will most certainly have an active, if minor, role in the economy during your travels, take a step back and find a way to communicate with friends and family back home what drives your destination’s economy.  And then feel free to share what you have found in the comments section below

—–

Previous articles in the Travel Photography Subjects series include Water, Old People, Young People, Religion, Sports, Socializing, Icons, Rich, Poor and Transportation. These posts are not intent on telling you everything you need to do, step by step, to capture perfect, cookie-cutter pictures while traveling.  Instead, they are intent on pointing out some vital elements to capture when on the road and ask thought provoking questions you may want to ask yourself.  My hope is they help guide you to find your own means to better expressing what your travels have meant to you and present that in the best light possible.  Be sure to subscribe to this site to receive the other 15 subjects as they are posted!

If you enjoyed this article, you might also like...

Peter West Carey is a world traveling photographer who now is spending a large amount of time going back through 6 years of travel photo and processing them like he should have to start with. He is also helping others learn about photography with the free series 31+ Days Of Photography Experiments which builds off of the 31+ Days To Better Photography series on his blog.

  • Scott

    Markets, especially ones that cater to locals rather than tourists, are great examples of economy.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/lendog64/4422181127/

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/jonsanwell/ Mr Jon

    I agree, Scott.

    These pictures were taken in Long Bien night market in Hanoi, which supples most of the city’s local market traders.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/jonsanwell/sets/72157624555728833/

  • http://biswajitdey.com Biswajit Dey

    Yes, market is a great photography place. You can find it anywhere around you and if you observe well, you will find some good subjects to portray through your camera. I am also a lover of photography and have some market photos here:

  • http://www.scottsdalearizonahouses.com James Michael Swartz

    I have traveled all over the world and have lived in Saudi Arabia, Japan, Germany, and Spain. I have found the best way to understand how people live in those countries, is to live among the people, and stay away from all the places that Americans tend to be. Stay away from the tourist attractions, and live as they do.

    Always have a camera with you, and be ready to capture the moment. I got the greatest picture in Spain. I was living in Madrid, and took a trip to the Mediterranean coast for a few days. I stopped along the way, and got a great picture of a family home, and the people living there, as they were all gathered in various places. They still washed cloths in a large pan, with a wash board, and the water came from the well.

    Get out and see the world and don’t be afraid to elplore.

  • http://www.scottsdalearizonahouses.com James Michael Swartz

    I have traveled all over the world and have lived in Saudi Arabia, Japan, Germany, and Spain. I have found the best way to understand how people live in those countries, is to live among the people, and stay away from all the places that Americans tend to be. Stay away from the tourist attractions, and live as they do.

    Always have a camera with you, and be ready to capture the moment. I got the greatest picture in Spain. I was living in Madrid, and took a trip to the Mediterranean coast for a few days. I stopped along the way, and got a great picture of a family home, and the people living there, as they were all gathered in various places. They still washed cloths in a large pan, with a wash board, and the water came from the well.

    Get out and see the world and don’t be afraid to explore.

  • Scott

    @ Mr Jon, great photos and hope everyone takes a look at those!

Some older comments

  • Scott

    August 12, 2010 04:14 am

    @ Mr Jon, great photos and hope everyone takes a look at those!

  • James Michael Swartz

    August 11, 2010 10:47 pm

    I have traveled all over the world and have lived in Saudi Arabia, Japan, Germany, and Spain. I have found the best way to understand how people live in those countries, is to live among the people, and stay away from all the places that Americans tend to be. Stay away from the tourist attractions, and live as they do.

    Always have a camera with you, and be ready to capture the moment. I got the greatest picture in Spain. I was living in Madrid, and took a trip to the Mediterranean coast for a few days. I stopped along the way, and got a great picture of a family home, and the people living there, as they were all gathered in various places. They still washed cloths in a large pan, with a wash board, and the water came from the well.

    Get out and see the world and don't be afraid to explore.

  • James Michael Swartz

    August 11, 2010 10:46 pm

    I have traveled all over the world and have lived in Saudi Arabia, Japan, Germany, and Spain. I have found the best way to understand how people live in those countries, is to live among the people, and stay away from all the places that Americans tend to be. Stay away from the tourist attractions, and live as they do.

    Always have a camera with you, and be ready to capture the moment. I got the greatest picture in Spain. I was living in Madrid, and took a trip to the Mediterranean coast for a few days. I stopped along the way, and got a great picture of a family home, and the people living there, as they were all gathered in various places. They still washed cloths in a large pan, with a wash board, and the water came from the well.

    Get out and see the world and don't be afraid to elplore.

  • Biswajit Dey

    August 11, 2010 07:10 pm

    Yes, market is a great photography place. You can find it anywhere around you and if you observe well, you will find some good subjects to portray through your camera. I am also a lover of photography and have some market photos here:

  • Mr Jon

    August 11, 2010 05:00 pm

    I agree, Scott.

    These pictures were taken in Long Bien night market in Hanoi, which supples most of the city's local market traders.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/jonsanwell/sets/72157624555728833/

  • Scott

    August 11, 2010 12:56 pm

    Markets, especially ones that cater to locals rather than tourists, are great examples of economy.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/lendog64/4422181127/

Receive a FREE SAMPLE of our Portrait Photography Ebook

  • Guaranteed for 2 full months
  • Pay by PayPal or CreditCard
  • Instant Digital Download

Receive a FREE SAMPLE of our Portrait Photography Ebook

  • Guaranteed for 2 full months
  • Pay by PayPal or CreditCard
  • Instant Digital Download

Receive a FREE SAMPLE of our Portrait Photography Ebook

  • Guaranteed for 2 full months
  • Pay by PayPal or CreditCard
  • Instant Digital Download

Sign up to the free DPS PHOTOGRAPHY COURSE

  • Guaranteed for 2 full months
  • Pay by PayPal or CreditCard
  • Instant Digital Download

GET DAILY free tips, news and reviews via our RSS Feed

Sign up to the free

DPS PHOTOGRAPHY COURSE

  • Guaranteed for 2 full months
  • Pay by PayPal or CreditCard
  • Instant Digital Download

GET DAILY free tips, news and reviews via our RSS Feed

Sign up to the free

DPS PHOTOGRAPHY COURSE

  • Guaranteed for 2 full months
  • Pay by PayPal or CreditCard
  • Instant Digital Download
DPS NEWSLETTER
DPS NEWSLETTER
DPS NEWSLETTER

DPS offers a free weekly newsletter with: 
1. new photography tutorials and tips
2. latest photography assignments
3. photo competitions and prizes

Enter your email below to subscribe.
Email:
 
 
Get DAILY free tips, news and reviews via our RSS feed