If you’re planning a vacation and hope to capture the essence of your journey on film, what photographs will best illustrate your experiences? During your travels, contemplate how the locals live their daily lives.
People around the globe all eat, sleep, work, and take care of their families, yet it seems that no two places are alike. People hold different cultural and religious beliefs, enjoy eating different foods, and employ different modes of transportation. So many aspects of daily life combine to create experiences that are unique to each region. Here are some elements to observe and photograph during your holiday.
Transportation is one of the first things you’ll encounter in a new place, because you’ll be arriving in a new city, locating your hotel, and going out to see the sights. How did you make your way around? If you’re still in your home country, the differences might be subtle, such as different colored road signs. If you’re traveling through many different cities on your journey, photographing road signs can help provide a framework and timeline to visually document your trip.
If you’re traveling to a foreign country, which side of the road are you supposed to drive on? What types of transportation are most common? Are the road signs in English? Even if they are, you might see things phrased differently than you would at home. One famous example would be the cautionary “Mind the Gap” slogan painted alongside London’s Tube tracks. For those unfamiliar with it, this photograph does an excellent job of illustrating where you’d find it.
What do the locals love to eat? Even in the continental US, certain areas are famous for particular types of food, such as Philly Cheese-steaks in Philadelphia or Cajun food in New Orleans.
In large metropolitan cities such as New York, you’ll find distinct neighborhoods to explore, each with their own local favorites. In one day you could sample some unusual Chinese dishes in Chinatown for lunch, have a snack at the corner hot dog stand, and then sit down to an authentic Italian dinner in Little Italy.
If your trip takes you to the far reaches of the globe, you might not be adventurous enough to try many of the local foods – but be sure to photograph them! In Thailand, locals enjoy eating a wide variety of insects. This photographer not only captures the extraordinary food that people at home are missing out on, but also depicts the surrounding environment quite well – including the lighting and taxis passing by on the street.
Before you set sail on your excursion, do a little research on the areas you’ll be visiting. What religion do most residents adhere to? Will there be any unusual festivals that you can attend while you’ll be there? What cultural or artistic pursuits do the people in this area hold most dear? Are they famous for any particular handicrafts?
Attending cultural events will provide perspective into the local history while also presenting you with unique photographic opportunities. This picture portrays some Indian youth celebrating Holi, an annual festival for welcoming spring. It depicts not only how people celebrate, but also what people wear and some local architecture in the background.
Photo credited to Reuters / Jayanta Shaw, India Society Religion