The travel publications are out with their predictions for the top travel destinations for 2008. We searched them for spots that Dreamstime photographers had not yet covered comprehensively. Seven hot destinations for 2008 to visit and create images to fill out the Dreamstime collection are: Nicaragua, Guatemala, Honduras, Columbia, Tunisia, Albania and Dubai. (Destinations in North America, Asia and Africa later).
The major shift in travel images this coming year is away from the tried and true to responsible/eco and adventure travel. Whether it’s to emerging tourist destinations where it is possible to live green while living it up or a jewel of the Arab world, new destinations are on the photographic map. Americans will be seeking places where the battered dollar still buys a good bed while Europeans will continue to shop in the US in droves, subjects for a later blog.
No matter the location, you want to capture the essence of a place in your photos and, more importantly, why tourists would want to be there. Plan for images that tour groups and other tourist oriented sites and publications will seek. For the Central and South American countries below that are being promoted as ideal eco and responsible tourist destinations, you will want to get as many images as you can of the natural environment.
Even though visitors seek unspoiled rain forests and beaches, their very presence can diminish the place. Nevertheless, you must be prepared to get people into the images. Both tourists and native residents should populate your images. How to get model releases? If all else fails, hire a guide for a day that can translate a release and smooth the way with strangers in their native language. In the remote lodges, you can usually meet up with people that work there to use as models and use your great personality to talk some fellow tourists into posing. Take releases along that are in the local language, if at all possible.
If there are beaches, capture more than sunning beauties. Talk to the surfers at the great spots in Central America. Images of them in the water are difficult if you aren’t also a surfer but compelling and fun images can be made of them with their boards just hanging out. Is there fishing? Parasailing? What are the dominant animals and the most beautiful flowers and plants? Local crafts?
The ingredients of the national cuisine may be easier to photograph at a market. Displays of fresh fruits, vegetables and fish will solve the typical food shot requirement better than a poorly lit image of unappetizing prepared food. (The food you are served for dinner hasn’t been styled for photography and it will be really difficult to shoot a money shot under the typical restaurant conditions.)
People often take religious pilgrimages to historical churches and temples. Be respectful of worshipers but photograph interiors as well as the easily accessible exteriors. History bluffs want to see ruins and archaeological sites. Learn why these sites are important so that you will understand what and why you are photographing a site.
Remember, get up early to shoot while others are sleeping away the hours around dawn and skip the cocktail hour, staying outside in the great light. Always get as much color into your travel shots as possible. Pack a small foldable reflector to use for fill light if you must shoot people in the heat of the day. Next week specific details about shooting in these next new hot spots.
(Continued in the next blog along with some great links!)