One of the really fun things about being a travel writer (actually, there are quite a few) is the unlimited photography opportunities generated whilst on assignment. I’m fortunate to visit some of the world’s most photogenic locations so there’s invariably inspiration no matter the time of day. I’m naturally an early riser which also coincides with one of the best times for taking photos. The other time of course is the bewitching hour or so around dusk but as this coincides with cocktail hour it’s not quite so convenient! I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity to indulge this passion. One that allows me to engage with people from unfamiliar cultures as well as immersing myself in striking landscapes.
But engagement doesn’t just apply to photography it is the basis of all art forms. Interaction comes both from the artists’ relationship with their subject as well as from the viewer. I’m not sure who first coined the phrase ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ but it still resonates. Perhaps even more so as personal interaction gets shoved aside while we rush headlong into a digital world bereft of meaningful conversation. It’s not a terrific prospect if you’re a writer but handy if you’re a visual artist. And let’s face it, we could all do with a little visual stimulation. I’ll often bring home treasured pieces of art or craft from my travels, agonizing over eye-pleasing positioning on home walls that are becoming increasingly crowded. Visiting South Pacific islands for example, buying direct from the artisan is one way to thank villagers for their generous hospitality.
I’ve also bought art online, distracted by beautiful images when I should have been working. I recently found Saatchi Art, a leading online art gallery that aims to connect people with art and the artists they love. It was a dangerous find. Perusing the collections is a little like wandering through the worlds finest galleries. Given that every artwork is for sale it’s a no brainer that my credit card will be taking a regular hit.
Which is not a bad thing. I just need to write a thousand words each day pay for my art habit. These gorgeous galleries of art and images have also inspired me to make more time to create my own images.
Photography has changed immensely since the arrival of digital cameras. It’s opened up the field for hobbyists and professionals alike inspiring creativity while challenging enthusiasts to experiment with new ideas. Self taught with much still to learn, I aspire to become a great photographer. One day.
I was fortunate to watch a professional tourism photographer at work recently – a real treat to see how fabulous images are drawn from the Fijian landscape I was exploring thanks to Captain Cook Cruises.
Former journalist turned pro photographer David Kirkland is the most widely published travel photographer in Asia Pacific. He produces extraordinary images which are utilised by tourism boards to entice travellers to explore the world beyond their front door. Much of the charm of Kirkland’s photo’s can be attributed to the way he engages with his subjects long before he presses the shutter. I dare you to not be inspired to pack your bags after seeing some of his images.
What art form inspires you? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
This article is commissioned editorial