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Travel Photography Subjects: Water

Travel photography opens up a whole realm of photographic possibilities but I’ve often heard from others that it’s easy to get ‘lost’ while on a trip.  Often when returning from a trip, I feel like I’ve missed out on capturing a part of the location or culture I was visiting.  When reviewing photos in my computer I have, in the past, wished for a more rounded representation of what I experienced while abroad.

Like everyone here, I love learning about photography and often attend workshops and seminars to gain all I can from other insightful minds.  During one such workshop there was a list of subjects to capture on a trip presented.  The speaker was Catherine Karnow and I wrote as fast as I could to capture her suggestions.  I have since modified the original list (I didn’t catch every single item and maybe got half), adding to it to come up with 21 different subjects I now strive to capture while traveling.  I’m not always perfect with hitting every item on the list, but it does help me focus (pun intended) and return with ample material to better tell the tale for those back home.  I feel less ‘lost’ with the list with me to get my sense of direction.

Over the following weeks and months I will present each of the subjects along with helpful hints.  Each post will then contain ample examples to help stimulate ideas when you are on your next trip across town or across the world.

The first Travel Photography Subject is Water.

You’ve all heard it said that water is the sustaining element of life.  Indeed, water can be found in almost every corner of the world, and surly those corners most of us care to travel.  And it can be found in many forms.  It fills the oceans and it helps cook our food.  Its scarcity causes wars in some areas and its over abundance is flaunted in others.

How an area uses and treats water is a big reflection of how the area treats life.  Is it precious or wasted?  Is it clean or dirty?  Is it cared about or taken for granted?  When you travel, look for ways in which water is used, abused, ignored or savored.  Look for how it is transported and the work it does for the people who use it.  How far do people have to travel to gain access to it?  How are peoples live shaped around water?

Whether in a bottle, a lake or falling from the sky, water is likely everywhere you plan to travel.  Tell the the unique story of how it fits into the life of those you are visiting.

Scarcity In Kathmandu, Nepal

Scarcity In Kathmandu, Nepal

Fountain In Mosque, Morocco

Fountain In Mosque, Morocco

Hippo At His Pool, Tanzania

Hippo At His Pool, Tanzania

Yellowstone Falls, USA

Yellowstone Falls, USA

Gliding On An Oxbow Lake, Peru

Gliding On An Oxbow Lake, Peru

St. Patrick Needs More Water, Ireland

St. Patrick Needs More Water, Ireland

Rain On The Grand Tetons, USA

Rain On The Grand Tetons, USA

Where The Hot Water Comes From, Nepal

Where The Hot Water Comes From, Nepal

Please feel free to share any shots you have of Water that you feel capture a sense of place during your travels.   Either link or embed your photo in the comments section below.

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Peter West Carey

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.

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