Travel and Video

When I started out as a still photographer over 30 years ago, I knew I wanted to travel. And that’s exactly what I did, I traveled the world on assignment for magazines such as National Geographic Traveler, Travel & Leisure, Islands, Smithsonian and many more. I shot over 18 stories for National Geographic Traveler alone.

Over those years, I found myself doing a lot of observing as well as interacting and listening to people from cultures around the globe. I was fascinated by their stories. I documented my observations through my images and when it all came together perfectly my visuals told their story.

Many times I would feel the need to add audio or movement to fully capture the spirit of a place. When digital video came along and now HD it was a dream come true. Technology making all that possible for an independent shooter.

Travel and the medium of video are a perfect match. Adding the sounds of a destination or a recorded conversation adds another dimension to a story. Much of what I remember from past trips I’ve taken are the sounds of the environment. The prayer chants from a mosque in Giza at dawn – the bells of a sleigh in the snow in Banff- a yell from a street vendor in NYC – children laughing in a school yard in Blarney, Ireland. All ideal elements for a video format.

As well as adding the dimension of sound, shooting video allows you to add movement. Photographs are moments in time – video is time in motion. When you shoot travel, you want to immerse yourself in the place you’re in to get a full sense it. Whether it’s dance or a bustling market or a ferris wheel, video captures the energy of a place. I got fabulous footage from shooting from a ferris wheel. It acted like a giant jib when I shot from the ride as the wheel came around.

As far as shooting travel, adding video to my skills has opened up new ways of seeing many places I had been to dozens of times before. And with smaller and more discreet cameras, I can be less obtrusive. Video and travel – a perfect match.


2 Replies to “Travel and Video”

  1. I think video does capture the beauty of some scene better, but nothing can ever compare to real life. Like when you see a sunset, not to be totally cheesy, it’s breathtaking, though seeing this done in a painting or in a picture doesn’t have the same effect on you–you love it for the beauty of the art itself, not really for life or the world. Still, you have a really interesting story, you should write more about it.

  2. Couldn’t agree with you more – nothing beats a real life experience. But many times I have been prompted in my life by a photo or a video – to actually make the trip. One of those trips was to Machu Picchu in Peru. But when I sat in the mist overlooking that site – I thought to myself that no camera in the world could capture what I saw and felt at that moment.

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