Inspiring Travel Photographers

I’m a bit of a reluctant photographer. While I have a great camera, I don’t really know how to use it and I hate carrying it around everywhere…Still I can appreciate how powerful a photo can be. So I try.

Here are 3 travel photographers that give me inspiration:

“A good photograph is one that communicates a fact, touches the heart, and leaves the viewer a changed person for having seen it; it is in one word, effective.” —Irving Penn.

Irving Penn

I came across Irving Penn’s photos during an exhibit in a museum in Malmo, Sweden this summer. While known for his fashion photography, particularly his work at Vogue magazine, I was much more drawn to his travel photos, or “ethnographic photos.”

Early in his career he traveled to Morocco and Mali to photograph the people there, using black and white film. He filmed his subjects in a make-shift studio, creating a stark backdrop. I’m not entirely sure I like his approach of taking people away from their environment, but the photographs are powerful, especially the women in traditional dress.

Mirella Ricciardi

While visiting Devon, England my friend Barbara shared with me a book called African Visions by photographer of Mirella Ricciardi. It is one of the most beautiful books I have ever seen.

Ricciardi was born and raised in Kenya when it was still a British East Africa colony. Much of her work reflects the tribal environment she grew up in, along with family photos and memories.

To capture her powerful images, she travelled throughout Africa on foot, in canoes, riding in local buses and single-engine light aircraft, hot air balloons and on the backs of camels and elephants. An inspirational woman indeed!

Steven McCurry

We all know McCurry’s work, especially the iconic Afghan Girl photo that graced the cover of National Geographic decades ago. He started his travels in South Asia – India, Pakistan, Afghanistan – and moved throughout the world, photographing 6 continents.

His work centers on “conflicts, vanishing cultures, ancient traditions,” along with contemporary culture from around the world. He is most celebrated for the human element that he is able to capture / convey to viewers.


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This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 29th, 2012 and is filed under Travel Favorites, Travel Favorites.

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