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Is Photography The Purpose of Your Travel Or An Adjunct?
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Jun 5, 2021 13:28:31   #
dmeyer Loc: Nebo, NC
 
This post may seem like musings, but is meant to ask some of you what you would do differently/better if circumstances (not equipment) allowed. I am wondering how many folks in the photo community would stretch their skills if they had more opportunity to do photography-specific trips as opposed to recreational travel? Yes, there are pro-photographer led workshops as well as photo clubs in more populated cities, but the workshops can be cost prohibitive in exchange for time and coverage provided, and clubs seem to be pretty scattered out and limited to regional subject matter.
Being drawn to landscapes and nature, I was blessed when I found another soul who shared the same enthusiasm for discovery and desire to explore way beyond his home territory. What made it a perfect photography union was that our spouses had no patience with travel that evolved into long photo sessions. So, with mutual respect for each other’s talents and skill…and with neither trying to be the teacher, but both being open to experimenting with new shooting situations by setting goals…we made 9 trips across the SW, the PNW, the Rockies, and even waterfall country here in NC. Three big “C’s” (Construction, Cancer, and Covid) brought the trips to a halt in 2018, with one last trip this September left to experience. My buddy’s health makes it hard to plan too far in the future these days.
For me, images seen through a lens have always been imbedded in memory far more lastingly than when casually glimpsed through the window of a moving vehicle. And the desire to preserve those images as clearly and beautifully as possible motivated me to grow my photographic skill set. Am I an anomaly for sometimes wanting to create a portfolio of beautiful imagery over always sharing experiences with my spouse?
So, I wonder…how many would choose to partner up for travel dedicated to capturing the scenery over recreational travel with a spouse where photography is merely an adjunct? Can we only justify travel solely for photography if we are ‘professionals’ making a living at it?
(P.S. All of the above is directed at the mature segment of this community who would not travel solo. There are probably a great many brave young folks who can live out of a car/and or tent in pursuit of adventure and never worry about accidents in remote locations.)

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Jun 5, 2021 13:43:32   #
azted Loc: Las Vegas, NV.
 
I would have to concur, that I would find it encouraging if I could travel to places that my spouse would not in the company of other photographers who enjoy the creative photography aspect. However that will not happen, as I have never, and would never take a "vacation" without my spouse. When I was younger, I traveled the country for my businesses alone, or with associates, but never took the time to "smell the roses" when in an interesting city, as it was always business first, as it was my money I was spending. But the concept above does sound refreshing for day trips and I agree with the OP.

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Jun 5, 2021 13:46:19   #
Longshadow Loc: Audubon, PA, United States
 
Adjunct.

Obviously it depends on one's interests, desires, perception, and intensity of fervor for photography.

Some people live it, some people love it, some people like it, some people utilize it, and some simply take snaps for memories.

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Jun 5, 2021 13:51:36   #
IDguy Loc: Idaho
 
Adjunct.

As such I minimize the equipment I take.

I find having a good camera along causes me to appreciate the scenery better.

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Jun 5, 2021 13:53:44   #
BebuLamar
 
If it's up to me alone I would rather spend my money on gear and do my photography locally and at home. But my wife loves to travel and wants to travel with me so it's only fair to travel with her which I do take pictures when I do travel with her.

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Jun 5, 2021 14:09:49   #
Hip Coyote
 
Muse away! I am in a similar situation with long range fishing. Stay with me. My friend and I go on long range boats to catch big fish. Over the years we talked fishing, lived fishing, breath fishing. At first, we were hot to get big fish...200 lbs plus...or at least be catching all the time. Over the years we have talked about every subject there is...marriage, kids, life. And then the big C struck him...cancer. Recently, we went on a trip and the fishing was no so good. But even when the boat was catching fish, there were times he and I simply sat and talked or sat in silence. We realized the fishing (or photography) is simply a way to experience life and to be. To be on the open sea, or in a meadow taking photographs, is a way to find peace.

I do not care for dedicated photography travel...which I have done. Ive done a few seminars and enjoyed and learned, but really had no use for the photographs I took...because they were not meaningful memories to me. When my wife and I travel, I shoot on the move and do not take a lot of time to do it. I try to have interaction with people and take their photos. It is always interesting during my photo clubs critiques of photos that my photos often need more shoots, better background, a different moment in time...which I agree with...but I do not stay in one place, holding my wife, or the group back while I try to get the exact right photo...its a bore to me and to them. So, my photos are for my memories and quick stabs at art.

But to photograph with a special friend? think of it as a fishing trip...its not the fish...its the time together...the rest is secondary.

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Jun 5, 2021 14:25:43   #
FotoHog Loc: on Cloud 9
 
azted wrote:
I would have to concur, that I would find it encouraging if I could travel to places that my spouse would not in the company of other photographers who enjoy the creative photography aspect. However that will not happen, as I have never, and would never take a "vacation" without my spouse. When I was younger, I traveled the country for my businesses alone, or with associates, but never took the time to "smell the roses" when in an interesting city, as it was always business first, as it was my money I was spending. But the concept above does sound refreshing for day trips and I agree with the OP.
I would have to concur, that I would find it encou... (show quote)

For me it is both. I carefully plan my travel itinerary based on new locations and photo opportunities.

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Jun 5, 2021 14:27:06   #
larryepage Loc: North Texas (Dallas area)
 
dmeyer wrote:
This post may seem like musings, but is meant to ask some of you what you would do differently/better if circumstances (not equipment) allowed. I am wondering how many folks in the photo community would stretch their skills if they had more opportunity to do photography-specific trips as opposed to recreational travel? Yes, there are pro-photographer led workshops as well as photo clubs in more populated cities, but the workshops can be cost prohibitive in exchange for time and coverage provided, and clubs seem to be pretty scattered out and limited to regional subject matter.
Being drawn to landscapes and nature, I was blessed when I found another soul who shared the same enthusiasm for discovery and desire to explore way beyond his home territory. What made it a perfect photography union was that our spouses had no patience with travel that evolved into long photo sessions. So, with mutual respect for each other’s talents and skill…and with neither trying to be the teacher, but both being open to experimenting with new shooting situations by setting goals…we made 9 trips across the SW, the PNW, the Rockies, and even waterfall country here in NC. Three big “C’s” (Construction, Cancer, and Covid) brought the trips to a halt in 2018, with one last trip this September left to experience. My buddy’s health makes it hard to plan too far in the future these days.
For me, images seen through a lens have always been imbedded in memory far more lastingly than when casually glimpsed through the window of a moving vehicle. And the desire to preserve those images as clearly and beautifully as possible motivated me to grow my photographic skill set. Am I an anomaly for sometimes wanting to create a portfolio of beautiful imagery over always sharing experiences with my spouse?
So, I wonder…how many would choose to partner up for travel dedicated to capturing the scenery over recreational travel with a spouse where photography is merely an adjunct? Can we only justify travel solely for photography if we are ‘professionals’ making a living at it?
(P.S. All of the above is directed at the mature segment of this community who would not travel solo. There are probably a great many brave young folks who can live out of a car/and or tent in pursuit of adventure and never worry about accidents in remote locations.)
This post may seem like musings, but is meant to a... (show quote)


I believe that there can be a place for both. Many years ago, I embarked on a major road trip with three other guys to photograph significant points on the major western railroads. We were focused on parts of all four of them at the time...the Santa Fe (our primary interest), the Denver & Rio Grande Western, the Union Pacific, and the Southern Pacific.

We traveled over 3000 miles over the span of 10 days, and much of what we committed to film can never be seen again. We went off the main path and in some cases entirely off-road to capture some of our images, like the Canyon Diablo bridge on the Santa Fe in eastern Arizona.

We were a diverse group (engineer, store owner, direct marketer, and church pastor), and we had a great time, despite a couple of times that we drove way too fast to get in position ahead of a train. We were in nine different states during our trip. We drove all night twice. There's no way that any of us could have done that trip with our families. But there's also no way I would do every trip that way.

Our focus was photography. We did not do anything that was not in support of meeting our photographic goals. I'd love to do one or two more of those trips. My wife and I are planning an autumn trip to the northeastern US. We will be visiting friends also. There will be lots of photography, but it won't be like that railroad photography adventure.

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Jun 5, 2021 14:30:26   #
revhen Loc: By the beautiful Hudson
 
My wife finds that my "slide" program helps her realize what we have seen so quickly on tours.

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Jun 5, 2021 14:52:35   #
RightOnPhotography Loc: Quebec,QC
 
I love to travel, but can imagine travelling without my camera. I always have 2 bodies, just in case. Travelling is inseparable from photography.

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Jun 5, 2021 15:21:09   #
gsmith051 Loc: Fairfield Glade, TN
 
dmeyer wrote:
This post may seem like musings, but is meant to ask some of you what you would do differently/better if circumstances (not equipment) allowed. I am wondering how many folks in the photo community would stretch their skills if they had more opportunity to do photography-specific trips as opposed to recreational travel? Yes, there are pro-photographer led workshops as well as photo clubs in more populated cities, but the workshops can be cost prohibitive in exchange for time and coverage provided, and clubs seem to be pretty scattered out and limited to regional subject matter.
Being drawn to landscapes and nature, I was blessed when I found another soul who shared the same enthusiasm for discovery and desire to explore way beyond his home territory. What made it a perfect photography union was that our spouses had no patience with travel that evolved into long photo sessions. So, with mutual respect for each other’s talents and skill…and with neither trying to be the teacher, but both being open to experimenting with new shooting situations by setting goals…we made 9 trips across the SW, the PNW, the Rockies, and even waterfall country here in NC. Three big “C’s” (Construction, Cancer, and Covid) brought the trips to a halt in 2018, with one last trip this September left to experience. My buddy’s health makes it hard to plan too far in the future these days.
For me, images seen through a lens have always been imbedded in memory far more lastingly than when casually glimpsed through the window of a moving vehicle. And the desire to preserve those images as clearly and beautifully as possible motivated me to grow my photographic skill set. Am I an anomaly for sometimes wanting to create a portfolio of beautiful imagery over always sharing experiences with my spouse?
So, I wonder…how many would choose to partner up for travel dedicated to capturing the scenery over recreational travel with a spouse where photography is merely an adjunct? Can we only justify travel solely for photography if we are ‘professionals’ making a living at it?
(P.S. All of the above is directed at the mature segment of this community who would not travel solo. There are probably a great many brave young folks who can live out of a car/and or tent in pursuit of adventure and never worry about accidents in remote locations.)
This post may seem like musings, but is meant to a... (show quote)

COVID, sickness, and age has a way of restricting travel. Before COVID I joined a workshop for week in Death Valley for intensive shooting with a group limited to six photographers and two instructors. That was probably the most fun I’ve had shooting with a group ex wife. Next January she wants to go with me on a day trip strictly for photography- We have done a number of those and had a great time. My wife has great ideas and is an asset for my shooting. Sort of a joint deal!

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Jun 5, 2021 15:37:44   #
Architect1776 Loc: In my mind
 
dmeyer wrote:
This post may seem like musings, but is meant to ask some of you what you would do differently/better if circumstances (not equipment) allowed. I am wondering how many folks in the photo community would stretch their skills if they had more opportunity to do photography-specific trips as opposed to recreational travel? Yes, there are pro-photographer led workshops as well as photo clubs in more populated cities, but the workshops can be cost prohibitive in exchange for time and coverage provided, and clubs seem to be pretty scattered out and limited to regional subject matter.
Being drawn to landscapes and nature, I was blessed when I found another soul who shared the same enthusiasm for discovery and desire to explore way beyond his home territory. What made it a perfect photography union was that our spouses had no patience with travel that evolved into long photo sessions. So, with mutual respect for each other’s talents and skill…and with neither trying to be the teacher, but both being open to experimenting with new shooting situations by setting goals…we made 9 trips across the SW, the PNW, the Rockies, and even waterfall country here in NC. Three big “C’s” (Construction, Cancer, and Covid) brought the trips to a halt in 2018, with one last trip this September left to experience. My buddy’s health makes it hard to plan too far in the future these days.
For me, images seen through a lens have always been imbedded in memory far more lastingly than when casually glimpsed through the window of a moving vehicle. And the desire to preserve those images as clearly and beautifully as possible motivated me to grow my photographic skill set. Am I an anomaly for sometimes wanting to create a portfolio of beautiful imagery over always sharing experiences with my spouse?
So, I wonder…how many would choose to partner up for travel dedicated to capturing the scenery over recreational travel with a spouse where photography is merely an adjunct? Can we only justify travel solely for photography if we are ‘professionals’ making a living at it?
(P.S. All of the above is directed at the mature segment of this community who would not travel solo. There are probably a great many brave young folks who can live out of a car/and or tent in pursuit of adventure and never worry about accidents in remote locations.)
This post may seem like musings, but is meant to a... (show quote)


When we travel photography is NOT the reason.
We travel to learn and immerse in where we are.
Photos are an adjunct, fun but do not get in way of the pleasure of learning.

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Jun 6, 2021 06:04:06   #
cameraf4 Loc: Delaware
 
The goal for retirement has always been to travel for my wife and I. I never "went anywhere" when I was young and always wished that I could. A big reason why I photograph my travels is because of something I read that Ned Gillette once said about [paraphrasing] if you travel and don't bring back pictures, then you are just being selfish.

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Jun 6, 2021 06:04:25   #
billnikon Loc: Pennsylvania/Ohio/Florida/Maui/Oregon/Vermont
 
dmeyer wrote:
This post may seem like musings, but is meant to ask some of you what you would do differently/better if circumstances (not equipment) allowed. I am wondering how many folks in the photo community would stretch their skills if they had more opportunity to do photography-specific trips as opposed to recreational travel? Yes, there are pro-photographer led workshops as well as photo clubs in more populated cities, but the workshops can be cost prohibitive in exchange for time and coverage provided, and clubs seem to be pretty scattered out and limited to regional subject matter.
Being drawn to landscapes and nature, I was blessed when I found another soul who shared the same enthusiasm for discovery and desire to explore way beyond his home territory. What made it a perfect photography union was that our spouses had no patience with travel that evolved into long photo sessions. So, with mutual respect for each other’s talents and skill…and with neither trying to be the teacher, but both being open to experimenting with new shooting situations by setting goals…we made 9 trips across the SW, the PNW, the Rockies, and even waterfall country here in NC. Three big “C’s” (Construction, Cancer, and Covid) brought the trips to a halt in 2018, with one last trip this September left to experience. My buddy’s health makes it hard to plan too far in the future these days.
For me, images seen through a lens have always been imbedded in memory far more lastingly than when casually glimpsed through the window of a moving vehicle. And the desire to preserve those images as clearly and beautifully as possible motivated me to grow my photographic skill set. Am I an anomaly for sometimes wanting to create a portfolio of beautiful imagery over always sharing experiences with my spouse?
So, I wonder…how many would choose to partner up for travel dedicated to capturing the scenery over recreational travel with a spouse where photography is merely an adjunct? Can we only justify travel solely for photography if we are ‘professionals’ making a living at it?
(P.S. All of the above is directed at the mature segment of this community who would not travel solo. There are probably a great many brave young folks who can live out of a car/and or tent in pursuit of adventure and never worry about accidents in remote locations.)
This post may seem like musings, but is meant to a... (show quote)


When I was a young photojournalist I loved being on my own and I guess sewed my photography oats at that time. Now I can only think of travel as a married couple. My wife knows my interests and even points of interesting subjects. I travel only with a pocket camera that can handle all I need for photography. I can put the camera in a belt pouch allowing me to hold my wife's hand while out and about.
I feel I do not miss much, I am not the type of person who can speed days with a group of photographers, I am a guy who has always liked to shoot alone. (but in Florida each morning I shoot with a group of photographers but that is only for about 2 hours each morning, not the whole day and not for a specific purpose, we are together but not together, we are all shooting on our own)
I could not consider traveling anywhere without my wife at my side. I do not think I miss much.





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Jun 6, 2021 06:32:47   #
ClarkJohnson Loc: Fort Myers, FL and Cohasset, MA
 
While I go on birding shoots either alone or with a group, my wife loves to travel with me for location photography, and we have taken (pre-COVID) multiple guided excursions (Moab, Durango). We prefer the organized trips because 1) the guides know the best places and times, and 2) they offer technical expertise as needed. Assuming things continue to ease, the next 12 months will take us to Costs Rica and the Canadian Rockies, all with photography as the goal. Traveling with someone other than a spouse sounds interesting, but I am pleased to say that my wife accepts, encourages and shares my photographic interest.

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