Tuesday’s Travel Essentials: Capturing the Moments on Camera

Jonny Blair taking a photo in Shanghai, CHINA. He lives a lifestyle of travel.

Tuesday’s Travel Essentials: Taking Good Photographs, Capturing the Moment

You might have noticed that I recently joined Instagram for the first time (a bit late to join the “Smart Phone” generation so I was) and that I have been having a play with Fotor, a free photo platform. But despite all my time taking photos, I’ve realised that I’m more of a “capture the moment” photographer than a good or expert photographer and I’ll be honest – I don’t want to ever be an expert photographer. I’m a writer and a backpacker first and foremost. Photos are just to enhance the memory and give my stories some visual output.

photo restrictions north korea

Snapping a parade in North Korea

Photographs that capture the moment are pivotal for me and I don’t care much for the quality – it’s more the spontaneous nature of the photo, the meaning behind it, where  it was taken, what I was doing etc. But sometimes other travel blogs and sites are all about the photo quality and their photos blow me away. I thought I’d share this excellent post from Custom Canvas Store today and some of the best images from around the world. When you see images like these five, you realise what a beautiful world it is.

1. Northern Lights, ICELAND

Northern Lights, Iceland ("Aurora Borealis" by Andi Gentsch - Own work. Licensed under CC0 via Creative Commons - www.flickr.com/photos/elgentscho)

Northern Lights, Iceland (“Aurora Borealis” by Andi Gentsch – Own work. Licensed under CC0 via Creative Commons – www.flickr.com/photos/elgentscho)

2. Isle of Skye Waterfall, SCOTLAND

Isle of Skye waterfall (from Pixabay)

Isle of Skye waterfall (from Pixabay)

3. Tokyo Street View, JAPAN

Tokyo Street View ("Tokyo" by Moyan Brenn - Own work. Licensed under CC0 via Creative Commons - www.flickr.com/photos/aigle_dore)

Tokyo Street View (“Tokyo” by Moyan Brenn – Own work. Licensed under CC0 via Creative Commons – www.flickr.com/photos/aigle_dore)

4. New York City Rainbow, USA

New York City Rainbow, USA (By Alyssa Smith - Own work. Licensed under CC0 via Unspash - www.unsplash.com/itsalyssabeth)

New York City Rainbow, USA (By Alyssa Smith – Own work. Licensed under CC0 via Unspash – www.unsplash.com/itsalyssabeth)

5. Mountains, ANTARCTICA

Mountains in Antarctica (“BlueWhiteBlue" by Cloudzilla - Own work. Licensed under CC0 via Creative Commons - www.flickr.com/photos/cloudzilla)

Mountains in Antarctica (“BlueWhiteBlue” by Cloudzilla – Own work. Licensed under CC0 via Creative Commons – www.flickr.com/photos/cloudzilla)

And I thought I’d throw in a few of my favourite photos into the mix today since choosing the best ones is something I’ve never done before, or even considered, though you can see my latest photos on my Facebook Page.

1. My Favourite Photo I took: Point Wild, Elephant Island, ANTARCTICA
While touring Antarctica in 2010, for me it was all about the experience and the madness of it all. For others on my cruise, it seemed it was all about the photography and winning the onboard competition. Though I entered with the photo below, I didn’t win but have since got to love the art of photography through shots like this. It’s the bird that I was lucky to get, the blur and the Pardo statue behind, taken at Point Wild in Elephant Island.

A photo I took at Point Wild in Elephant Island, ANTARCTICA

A photo I took at Point Wild in Elephant Island, ANTARCTICA

2. My Favourite Photo Someone Took of Me In It: Eluanbi, TAIWAN
This photo of me kind of sums up my early travelling days and when I look at it, I always remember that day – the time, the place, the people, the joys of travel. Days were long, sweaty, often lonesome and in obscure places. This was taken at “the Beacon of South East Asia” on our trip to Eluanbi and the South China Seas. It was taken either by my best mate Millwall Neil or my travel buddy Natalja (I can’t remember which of them took it). At the time we were just chilling out from a hot sun, before watching the sun sink with a beer and a glass of iced wine on Eluanbi Beach.

Relaxing at Eluanbi, TAIWAN: the Beacon of South Asia

Relaxing at Eluanbi, TAIWAN: the Beacon of South Asia

3. My Favourite Photo with No Movement In It: Salar de Uyuni, BOLIVIA
On a hot morning after a swim in the geysirs and some nudity with my travel buddies from the Salar de Uyuni tour, I put my shorts on the car bonnet and hung them out to try while admiring the landscape in behind. I snapped an arty shot of the only shorts I have worn in every continent.

My green Northern Irish football shorts which have travelled the world with me - they double up as swimming trunks and shine here in the morning sun at the Hot Springs in Uyuni.

Green shorts at Salar de Uyuni, BOLIVIA

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5 thoughts on “Tuesday’s Travel Essentials: Capturing the Moments on Camera

  • I am basically a wannabe professional photographer, I’ve always loved photos as both a memento of my travels and as a work of art. Several years ago when I first got into photography I would take 1000’s of photos on my trips, but I find now that I have refined my work and take a lot less and actually enjoy the moment and my travels too – I sometimes forgot to do that when I had my face stuck behind a camera! I really like your last photo, its quirky, unusual and has meaning behind it too.

  • Hi Paul, thanks for the comment – yes I gathered that from your site’s name. The truth is I’m just not big into quality photos. I sit and admire them but I never want to take them. I just take real life snapshots of my journey and not bothered on the quality. A friend of mine called Conor MacNeil – google him he is a pro photographer – his site is called The Fella. It would be a great career option, but I’m sticking to writing and website management for now. Safe travels. Jonny

  • Great post Jonny!

    I quite agree with what you’re saying. I love to take photos mainly as a memory – something to look back on. I’ll never be a pro photographer, but as long as you have a half decent shot of something, it is good to enhance fyour writing.
    I find many people these days see the World through their camera, and not really with their eyes. They spend hours snapping away at that sunset for the perfect shot, rather than actually sitting and enjoying it. I have been trying to do that more these days. Sit and watch something and take the occasional photo to review later on.

    Love your Antartica photo! I’ll make it there one day.

    Safe travels,

    Abbi
    Abbi recently posted…Enjoying the culture of ViennaMy Profile

  • Hi Abbi,

    Thanks for the comment. I’m guilty of viewing the world from a camera too, but I look at it a different way – after I have left that area, I can view it forever and remember it forever from the photos. Most significant places we only spend a few hours in anyway, so if photo taking takes 15-20 minutes, we’ve got the rest of the time to enjoy the moments! Safe travels. Jonny

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