Travel Photography Subjects: Odd/Whacky/Other

Travel Photography Subjects: Odd/Whacky/Other

This is it!  The last post in the Travel Photography Subjects series.  I hope you have enjoyed the other post and found some useful subjects you will be inspired to shoot on your next trip.  If you missed any of the previous 20 subjects, here are the links for you: Water, Old People, Young People, Religion, Sports, Socializing, Icons, Rich, Poor, Transportation, Economy, Food, Food Preparation, Weather, Art, Modern Vs. Traditional, Downtown, Views, History and Architecture.

The twenty-first Travel Photography Subject is Odd/Whacky/Other.  It’s a catchall of sorts but it also a reminder to not take myself so seriously when traveling.  And when traveling, there is ultimately a lot that seems odd or whacky or just down right different.  Most travel is that way, I believe.   While looking for all the ‘serious’ subjects in this series, it is important to have a row on the checklist for the subjects that just don’t fit.

What I and you consider odd/whacky/other is going to differ and that is the best way to have it.  This category really lets an individual’s personality shine as it shows what tickles the fancy of that particular photographer.  Whacky can be someone doing something funny, or just a juxtaposition that seems humorous (as in my example up top).  Odd is just that, odd to you.  And Other, well, Other is something of a copout, I admit.  But it is also a good reminder to break out of the mold that I have been forming with this list over the last six months.

For me, the twenty-one items on this list comprise a solid foundation for which to build a coherent photographic travel narrative.  I want to again thank Catherine Karnow for introducing me to a version of this list on which I have expanded and adapted.  As I look forward to more travels in 2011 to Nepal, Bhutan, Italy, Hawaii, Peru, to name a few locations, this list will always be in my back pocket with another copy in my photobag.

Here is a copy of the list in table format to help you in your travel photography endeavors.  Happy shooting!!

Subject Shot?
Old People
Young People
Food Preparation
Modern vs. Traditional

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Peter West Carey leads photo tours and workshops in Nepal, Bhutan, Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles and beyond. He is also the creator of Photography Basics - A 43 Day Adventure & 40 Photography Experiments, web-based tutorials taking curious photographers on a fun ride through the basics of learning photography.

Some Older Comments

  • Anna Soffia January 17, 2011 11:19 pm

    The odd or strange things are challenging - and the things that surprice
    Likeon christmas eve these musicants in a fine restaurant in Marracech, playing old national instruments, national music, dressed in festive national dresses over casual yogging dress amused me :-))

    [eimg link='' title='IMG_6268_Marocco_Marrakech' url='']

  • Damon January 13, 2011 02:58 pm

  • JesseAdams January 13, 2011 12:42 am

    I think this is one of the best/most strange adds I have seen for milk. Seen while wandering the streets of Paris.

  • ScottC January 12, 2011 05:28 pm

    Thought it interesting to find this sign immediately adjacent to a power transformer, and there's a late model car just off camera to the right.

  • Stefano Ottolenghi January 12, 2011 12:05 pm

  • Maik-T. Šebenik January 12, 2011 09:18 am

    Here's something "odd" I found on a trip to Stockholm:

  • Claire January 12, 2011 06:46 am

    I have been following this series since it began. I am hoping to one day become a professional travel photog. It has been really enjoyable reading about your experiences and all the advice was really helpful. I was worried coming up to Christmas that would miss the last one or two posts before I headed off for a trip to Vietnam, but thankfully with two weeks till my departure I have the complete list. Thank you so much for sharing your tips online so that a new generation of travel photographers can hone their skills.

  • ScottC January 12, 2011 05:18 am

    Sometimes I'll get an odd one, usually by accident. This one while fiddling with the camera settings before starting out for the day.

  • Jason St. Petersburg Photographer January 12, 2011 02:29 am

    I titled this Tokyo, Japan shot, "Very Old School Assassins"

    The goat-taxi shot is well seen.

  • Kris January 11, 2011 11:01 pm

    Glad to see this :)

    We spent a week in Dublin visiting my wife's relatives and they thought I was rather odd capturing any liquor or beer bottle I found on the ground. They considered it 'rubbish' - I considered it a challenge.


  • Kat Landreth January 11, 2011 09:26 pm

    Thanks for the series. Just caught this one and I'm going to head back to read the rest now. Love the goat taxi photo too.

    Your list seems like it would be a great supplement to the Life Magazine photo narrative formula :
    1. Introductory shot
    2. Portrait
    3. Interaction Shot
    4. Signature Shot (sums up the whole story)
    5. Detail Shot
    6. Clincher or Closing Shot

    Having specific subject/subject categories in mind while you travel will really help me flesh out my narratives. Thanks!