Travel Photography, it’s in the Details

Oct 20, 2018

Whether you are touring to an exotic location overseas or a locale closer to home, travelling is always exciting. And when one of your goals is to illustrate your trip with photographs, it is crucial to capture not only the big picture but also intimate details. Details add depth to your photographic story. They add a layer of interest not seen in photos of landscapes or broader street scenes.

On our trip to Normandy this past June, I made sure that I captured details to illustrate our adventures.

The Morning Catch

Here is a short collection of photos from a photo walk I made just after sunrise in Honfleur, a seaside town in the northwest corner of France. When I spotted two men unloading their fishing boat, I made sure that I captured not only a wide shot but several close-ups as well.

French Lace

Even seemingly mundane things make great images when grouped. Make pictures of window boxes, door knobs, mailboxes, or whatever turns your crank, and group them into a collection. That is what I did here using a series of images I took of the many lace curtains I saw while wandering through the streets in Normandy.

Bayeux Cathedral

The Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Bayeux is a large, beautiful, Gothic cathedral located in the historic old town of Bayeux. Because of its grand scale, I found it difficult to photograph the church in its entirety. Instead, I concentrated on details. At one point I found myself in a small chapel off to one side of the central nave. The chairs were simple and arranged on an old tattered rug. Challenging myself to find a story here got me looking at the details. I was able to see these simple objects in a new way.

Let there be Light!

Sometimes the story is all about light. Honing in on the details in the light and shadows can create some wonderful images.

Bayeux War Cemetery

One of the most moving days I experienced in Normandy was a visit to the Bayeux War Cemetery. The cemetery is the resting place for over 4,000 Commonwealth soldiers who lost their lives during the invasions of Normandy in WW2. Of these commonwealth soldiers, 181 of them are from Canada. In addition, 466 Germans rest here, as well as soldiers from Poland, Russia, France, the Czech Republic and Italy.

Growing between the graves are rows of flowers. And each headstone bares not only the name, rank and battalion of the fallen soldier but also words from loved ones. On several of the graves, I found handwritten notes to the fallen soldiers.

I wanted to capture the emotions that I felt as I walked through the cemetery. I started with a couple of shots that showed the magnitude of the grounds, and then with each successive image, focused on a smaller slice of the cemetery. It is these last details which give me shivers each time I revisit the images.

Details that Amused Me!

I will leave you with one last set of images. Odds and ends that caught my eye during our trip. Some of them are quirky; some caught my eye with their colours and others with their textures. They all add to the flavour of our trip.

So, the next time you are travelling, don’t forget to get in close and capture some details. Those small vignettes of life will bring your stories to life.

If you would like to see some more of my images from our trip to Paris and Normandy, check out my last two posts: What I did on my Summer Vacation – Part 1, Paris and Packing for a Photo Trip and the Rockie Tripod Mistake. Thanks for reading and cheers until next time.

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