Travel Photographer. If a person were to have a title describing their passion, their work, or their career, the title “Travel Photographer” is a title most of us would be pretty happy with.
Linda Lowry – Travel photographer
Travel photographer as a description has got to be right up there with thriving artist, New York Times best seller, and Powerball winner. But there has to be more than hopping on a 747 with your passport and a camera and taking a bunch of pictures. Composition, texture, color, light, and an essence or a spirit of the places you are photographing have got to be there to make a travel photographer more than a tourist with a camera.
A while back I went to a local gallery to check out some art. In the gallery there were some great photos of Europe. They were fantastic. Linda happened to be working at the gallery at the time. We struck up a conversation, and I walked out of the gallery with three of her prints. I usually don’t buy photos, but I couldn’t help myself.
More recently, I was at an outdoor show where Linda had a booth. At this particular show, there were a lot of photographers. Good photographers. But Linda’s work has a much higher quality to it than the others, and there was little doubt about it.
Now, if I’m going to spend my time writing about someone for this blog, I’m going to make damn sure the person I write about does great work. Having said that, I would like to introduce you to the exceptional travel photographer Linda Lowry.
I recently asked Linda if I could interview her for CashArtBlog, and thankfully she agreed. I felt I had to ask her quickly before she jetted out of the country again. We decided to do the questions and answers via email, and the following is the result.
Linda Lowry – Travel Photographer
If you would like to jump right to Linda Lowry’s website to check out more great photos, and then come back to read the article…that’s cool. Here you go: www.lowryphotos.com
CS: Which came first the desire to travel, or your passion for photography? LL: “I would say they are equal. As a very young child I remember that one of my toys (the one that I remember the most) was an old box-style broken camera that belonged to my dad. I was about 4 years old! My dad also loved to get in the car and go for drives, and every couple years we drove from New Jersey to Florida for Christmas…my mother was terrified of flying, so we always drove everywhere. I was so excited to go anywhere in the car….I LOVED scenery!” She mentioned that her dad was quite an accomplished photographer in his own right, and gave Linda her first camera at age nine. “All along I also loved art-drawing and painting. I eventually decided that I wanted to major in art, and I fell in love with Philadelphia, and was awarded a scholarship to Moore College of Art &design in that city. Photography grew to be my favorite area of study.”
CS: Where and when was your first overseas trip as a travel photographer?
LL: “My first trip overseas was to Europe, in 1993 after I moved to Spokane from Hawaii. My husband and I went with our friends from Hawaii, Linda and Rene. Rene was born in Luxumbourg, so he was the perfect guide, and we went through 8 countries in 3 weeks! In retrospect, it was ideal for a first European trip as we saw so much and knew where we wanted to go back to and explore further…always with my camera…a 35 mm that I got in 1990, and still use!” CS: Do you have a favorite international city and/or country?
LL: “I have enjoyed everywhere that I’ve gone, but my two favorite cities are Venice and Prague. Italy is my favorite country…it’s a gem.”
CS: As a travel photographer, do you have an idea of what you want to photograph when you go somewhere, or do you just go out with your camera and look for something interesting?
LL: “Some of both. I do a lot of research ahead of time, mainly to plan the trip itself…places that sound interesting to me, places to stay once we get there, transportation, etc. My husband’s sister and her husband have both had jobs in Europe off and on since 1995, which enabled us to go and stay in a country for weeks at a time. With them as a home base, we just made our own trips from there. Over the years we have become pretty savvy at getting around on public transport , eating cheaply, and shopping where the locals do.”
CS: Are the people in the countries you have been to generally curious about you and your camera, suspicious, helpful, or something else?
LL: “Not so much, especially in recent years as everone walks around taking pictures, both locals and tourists. They are used to seeing tons of tourists in the places that most people go to. When I get off the beaten path to places most people don’t go to, we get to talk to more locals on a more intersting level.”
CS: When you out among people , taking your photos, being the travel photographer, are people generally the same or quite different? LL: “I would say that something is true that I heard said a long time ago: people who are from warmer climates tend to be more open and friendly (it was so when I lived in Hawaii)…and people from the northern countries are more reserved and less open with strangers, though once you get a conversation going and get to know them better, they generally open up.”
CS: You photos are so good they can sell themselves. Is there a trend or a certain country that people like more than others?
LL: ” I think everyone loves Italy. Also Greece. I decided to go to Greece in 2008 becaude many people at art shows/fairs were advocating it. They were not wrong. I would LOVE to go back to Greece.”
CS: Any place you want to go you haven’t already been?
LL: “There are way to many to list…you name it and I probably want to go there. I have not been to Asia at all. Other countries high on my list might be: Turkey, the Dalmation Coast of Croatia, Crete, India, Russia, New Zealand, Chile, Argentina, Bali…next life! The next trip we are thinking about now is to Southern France.”
CS: Can you talk about a photo or two that was as much a life experience as it was a photograph?
LL: “Gosh, I think all of the photos that I end up printing are very precious life experiences to me in one way or another. They have to be both technically good as well as a projection of my excitement at the moment I shot it. The mood had to be just right and there had to be a sense of who I am and what is important to me and how my vision at that moment was projected. A strong sense of history, architecture and culture mean a lot to me as well. I suppose I could pick out a few, but I would have to think about this some more…”
CS: Do you check your photo equipment when you travel?
LL: “I never leave my photo equipment out of my sight when traveling. I travel very light, with one camera backpack, and don’t take any large tripods along.
CS: Do you notice different “light” in different countries?
LL: “Yes…I love the light in the Mediterranean countries…the Greek Islands have great light. Northern Europe can be very dramatic, especially in the spring. Germany is beautiful in the spring with so many shades of green. I have heard that in India, you can hardly take a bad picture because of the marvelous golden light.”
CS: What advice would you give to an aspiring travel photographer who might want to go abroad and photograph other cultures and countries?
LL: ” Decide where you want to go the most, and when, and for how long, and then do your research to get the most bang for your buck. There are travel books, DVDs, great internet info, or have a travel agent help you with the planning. Be sure you know your camera equipment well and know how much you can carry in personal items and camera gear.
Linda Lowry – Travel Photographer
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