In a way, "travel photography" is like a privilege. Not to undermine the subject itself, but when I think of travel photography, I think of landscapes of undeniably aesthetic places. Mountains, fog, hills, woods, streets, buildings, ocean, lake, sand, urban. I don't know, but as I edit my travel photos, I feel a little disconnected with them. They don't have much meaning to me other than the fact I enjoyed being there at the present moment, doing whatever I did and found the scenery to be attractive.
And then there's travel photography. The ones that can immediately evoke an emotion from you, the ones that transport you into another realm. The ones that draw out a memory from the deepest part of your hippocampus. Travel photography that causes you to create a dialogue within yourself. Who, what, when, where, why, how? You forget about the location, and become more enveloped with the narrative behind it. Now that, that's the shit I like.
I don't know. Despite my #travelphotogoals, I've begun to realize it's not for me. It's not my niche. I was raised under the most careful of parents in the strictest sense. My entire life's motto was to make the most of what little privileges and resources that I had. Therefore, when I was given all of these opportunities to travel with a car and have better lenses and afford to upgrade my fine art game with oil paint instead of the usual graphite, it wasn't super satisfying to me. I found the most worth in doing the most with the simplest of things, within a small radius from the comforts of my home.
I enjoy staged photography. I enjoy locking myself up in a room and setting up the lighting equipment and scene and tripod and remote. I thrive on sun rays coming through the window blinds. I chase after lights and shadows. Steam from the running faucet gives me chills. An unmade bed looks the most comfortable to dive into. I can live with black and white. I enjoy creating texture with a 0.5mm mechanical pencil. I doodle with ketchup whenever I get the opportunity to. (boiling crab doesn't sound too shabby rn)
Or maybe I'm just giving excuses. Perhaps I am jealous of those who have the resources to make day trips to Big Sur or to the sand dunes or Iceland or whatever. Perhaps I am jealous they have these beautiful models who are always readily available where as I don't. But that's okay. I make what I can do. When figures are not used, it challenges you to think how else would you compose the picture without having to have a person blatantly expressing the said emotion.
A "no-portrait portrait."
(sorry for the train of relevantly random thoughts; I've started to hone into my preferences in art and needed to jot this down as it came)