Travel photography is a genre of photography that may involve the documentation of an area's landscape, people, cultures, customs and history. The Photographic Society of America defines a travel photo as an image that expresses the feeling of a time and place, portrays a land, its people, or a culture in its natural state, and has no geographical limitations.
Travel photography as a genre is one of the most open in terms of the subjects it covers. Many travel photographers specialise in a particular aspect of photography such as travel portraits, landscape or documentary photography as well as shooting all aspects of travel. Much of today's Travel Photography style is derived from early work in Magazines such as National Geographic magazine from photographers such as Steve McCurry. This genre of photography entails shooting a wide variety of subjects under varied available conditions, e.g. low light photography indoors, available ambient light photography for exteriors of buildings and monuments, shooting on the streets where sometimes conditions may be hostile, capturing moments which rarely recur, capturing the magic of light while shooting landscapes, etc.
As travel has become more accessible the genre is opening up to amateurs and professionals alike. Amateur Travel photography, unlike like fashion, product, or food photography, is still an underestimated and relatively less monetized though the challenges faced by travel photographers are lot greater than some other types, where the light and other shooting conditions may be controllable. Traditionally travel photographers earned money through Stock photography, magazine assignments and commercial projects. Today, the stock photography market has collapsed and more and more photographers are using more innovative methods of earning a living such as through blogging, public speaking, commercial projects and teaching.
Travel photography, unlike other genres like fashion, product, or food photography, is still an underestimated and relatively less monetized genre, though the challenges faced by travel photographers are lot greater than some of the genres where the light and other shooting conditions may be controllable.
This genre of photography entails shooting a wide variety of subjects under varied available conditions, e.g. low light photography indoors, available ambient light photography for exteriors of buildings and monuments, shooting on the streets where sometimes conditions may be hostile, capturing moments which rarely recur, capturing the magic of light while shooting landscapes, etc.
Besides the travel publications like National Geographic Traveler, Conde Naste Traveler, etc., the demand for this genre exists in industries like Travel, Photo Education, etc. Many travel photographers are today leading photo-tours, helping travel enthusiasts take great travel images during their trips. Many others are doubling up as educators in the field of ambient light photography. Some of them are doing assignments which intrinsically use their strengths, e.g. shooting exteriors or interiors of buildings for architects and interior designers.
NATIONAL PARKS: The United States has 59 protected areas, known as national parks, which are operated by the National Park Service, an agency of the Department of the Interior. National parks must be established by an act of the United States Congress. The first national park, Yellowstone, was signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant in 1872, followed by Mackinac National Park in 1875 (decommissioned in 1895), and then Sequoia and Yosemite in 1890. The Organic Act of 1916 created the National Park Service "to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and wildlife therein, and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations." Many current National Parks had been previously protected as National Monuments by the President under the Antiquities Act before being upgraded by Congress. Seven national parks (six in Alaska) are paired with a National Preserve. While administered together, they are considered as separate units and their areas are not included in the figures below. The newest national park is Pinnacles National Park, upgraded in 2013. More
National Forests: The United States has 154 protected areas known as National Forests covering 188,293,938 acres (762,000 km2/294,208 sq. mi). The National Forests are managed by the U.S. Forest Service, an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The first National Forest was established as the Yellowstone Park Timber and Land Reserve on March 30, 1891, then in the Department of the Interior. In 1897, the Organic Act provided purposes for which forest reserves could be established, including to protect the forest, secure water supplies, and supply timber. With the Forest Reserve Act of 1891, the President of the United States was given the power to set aside forest reserves in the public domain. With the Transfer Act of 1905, forest reserves became part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the newly created U.S. Forest Service. Continue
A National Monument in the United States is a protected area that is similar to a National Park except that the President of the United States can declare an area of the United States to be a National Monument without the approval of Congress. However, areas within and extending beyond national parks, monuments, and national forests can be part of wilderness areas, which have an even greater degree of protection than a national park would alone, although wilderness areas managed by the United States Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management often allow hunting and grazing. Continued
A National Scenic Byway is a road recognized by the United States Department of Transportation for one of the six "intrinsic qualities": archeological, cultural, historic, natural, recreational, and/or scenic. The program was established by Congress in 1991 to preserve and protect the nation's scenic but often less-traveled roads and promote tourism and economic development. The National Scenic Byways Program (NSBP) is administered by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Continued
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