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.