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  • by Jamie Foley

Taylor Roades: The culture of tourism

Travel photography has long provided a view of elusive cultures and landscapes around the world. Though we might not have stood outside the busy gates of Angkor Wat in Cambodia or walked the sandy beaches of Bali, photos allow us to appreciate these sites. However, while the locations may appear desirably exotic and enticing, travel photography comes with a unique and diverse set of challenges.

Seeking out awe-inspiring vistas, surreal ruins where even the dark corners whisper of their epic history, or local mouth-watering specialties take time and effort. Besides the anxiety a photographer may face being in a foreign location, language barriers and customs can also prove challenging. Travel photography is in fact a combination of any number of different types of photography: landscape, portrait, food, fashion, etc. It often requires documentation of the site or events leading up to the moment captured, and while a landscape may set the scene, the portraits of the people within the landscape often bring that scene to life. Imagine you’re in the Mekong Delta in Vietnam, where every breath of air smells just a little exotic. Imagine a golden bottle of whiskey. At the bottle’s base, a snake is coiled as though ready to strike, but a bartender is nonchalantly using it to pour you a drink. You lift your camera and take a shot that will later bring your friends and family into that moment, even if they have never traveled to Asia. That’s travel photography.