World Travel Photos - Part I

Posted Thursday, 3 February 2011 by Ellen Boughn in Ellen Boughn, Photography
The lists of the top travel destinations for the new year begin arriving in late December just about the time that discarded Christmas trees start piling up in recycling centers. They continue through January. Now that all the lists are out, 'tis the time for Crestock to sum up the most important destinations for photo buyers.
Tag of different place Airport travel woman

© get4net/Crestock

© joingate/Crestock

Why should you care what the travel industry says are the top stops for 2011? Because their lists presumably create interest in those locations. Where there is consumer interest, there will be demand for images this year and beyond. We've combed the lists and arrived at our own to highlight a few places that appeared more than once and that would likely yield images that will be downloaded for many years to come.

You'll first want to take 'establishing shots'. These are images of distinctive skylines and other easily recognized landmarks. Then move in closer for recognizable architectural details.

Lower Manhattan

© dononeg/Crestock

Lower Manhattan New York City

A perennial world-class city and travel favorite is showing up high on many lists this year. Songs are written about it; it shines in all seasons; has world-class museums and a dazzling skyline and if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere: New York, New York.

New York City panorama with Statue of Liberty

© rabbit75_cre/Crestock

Statue of Liberty and New York City Skyline

Why is this city of crazy traffic, expensive hotels and exclusive dining experiences a place to be for photos in 2011?

  • The Statue of Liberty turns 125 in October. There will be advance press and articles.
  • The National September 11 Memorial at ground zero is anticipated to be open by the 10th anniversary. It's projected to be a "massive moment" for the city.
  • The High Line will be expanded-and Crestock has no coverage of this wonderful park above the streets of the city.
  • Images of NYC are widely used every year for travel and business uses. The city offers a multitude of visual options for those who do their research.
Skyscrapers, Buildings, Central Park, Hudson River

© BillPerry/Crestock

Central Park, New York City

Tip: During the warm months, the Metropolitan Museum opens its roof top garden to visitors on Thursday in the early evenings. It's a fabulous place to catch a sunset view of the city.

Half-penny bridge

© MikLav/Crestock

Half Penny Bridge, Dublin

Ireland. The saying goes that if you have a drop of Irish blood you can claim to be 100% Irish, a fact that is apparent on St Patrick's Day when everyone wears the green. Ireland will be a heavily promoted destination over the next few years as the country attempts to bring in tourist money to offset its recent economic challenges. Prices are low for hotels and restaurants. You can even get around Dublin by bike for three days for only $2.50.

Irish Countryside Castle

© searagen/Crestock

Irish castle in the countryside

If you can gain access, head for the roof top event area at the Guinness Warehouse for terrific and wide city views. (Go for the photos-stay for the samples!). No blarney: we have no photos of the Blarney Stone and only one or two of Irish castles.

Houses of Parliament, Westminster St. Paul's Cathedral London at dusk

© markpk/Crestock

© Elenathewise/Crestock

London views

The English and the Irish haven't always been on the best of terms but you can get from one place to the other fairly easily. Add London to a trip to Ireland if time and funds allow. The city will host the 2012 Summer Olympics and there will be great demand for photos as the event approaches. Some venues, such as Hyde Park, can already be photographed but remember: no Olympic logos or trademarks allowed.

Great Wall of China

© stugriffith/Crestock

Iconic images set the stage for more detailed images in favorite worldwide destinations.

Sitting in an airplane last week with a colleague who was going on to China from my stop in Seattle, I was made doubly aware of how often China is in the news. I was reading a consumer magazine on my iPad and only a few pages in I found an article about China's economic boom. Later I noticed the man across the aisle deeply engaged in a newspaper piece about the country. The day before another photographer/friend tweeted that he is in China to document the massive migration of rural workers as they return home for the Chinese New Year.

Red Pavilion in Forbidden City Beijing China

© BillPerry/Crestock

The old and the new together in modern China

China is more than one country: it's comprised of hundreds of regions and ethnic groups. The most important stock photos of this emerging giant are those that represent its massive and modern expansion and photos of traditional buildings, people and temples.

Chinese garden Megacity Highway

© csguy/Crestock

© csguy/Crestock

Contrasts in the city of Shanghai

Shanghai tops the lists of Chinese cities. It's a gateway for travelers from many countries and a roaring business center. The Shanghai skyline is dramatic and ever changing (recognize that skyline images may be outdated more recently than those of some other cities). Because the city was the host of a huge international expo last year, there is an abundance of facilities and prices have dropped. Concentrate on contrasts between the old and the new. Don't neglect the old French District while being dazzled by the skyscrapers in the modern city.

The Bund

© yuliang11/Crestock

The Bunt is the historical district of Shanghai and very popular tourist destination.

Photographers travel for many reasons - for assignments and for holidays. If you earn a certain level of income from travel photography and you can show that the purpose was to shoot photos to sustain that income, you can write off some or all of your expenses under the tax laws in many countries. (I'm not an accountant or the taxman so check with your local rules and regs).

A note about intellectual property ("IP") rights:

The owners of many landmark buildings and monuments around the world today are protective of their IP rights and do not permit photos of their properties to appear in advertising and other media without their permission. This is a complex subject made more complex because such properties generally don't post notices warning people that photos of their properties may only be used for personal souvenirs – so how are you to know?

And to add to that complexity is the fact the some parties pursue their IP rights vigorously while others are quite relaxed about protecting those rights. You should research your destination carefully before you leave home to ensure that you don't invest time and money taking pictures that can't be sold commercially.

More about what to shoot once you arrive next week. Bon Voyage!

Ellen Boughn

Ellen has over thirty years of experience in the stock business gained at such organizations as Dreamstime, UpperCut Images, Workbookstock, Corbis, Getty (Stone), The Image Bank (Artville) and the creative agency, After-Image, she started in Los Angeles at the beginning of her career. Having been directly involved in the creation of four major stock photography collections, Ellen offers her decades of experience to assist photographers seeking success in stock photography.

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Ellen Boughn's best-selling book, Microstock Money Shots, is filled with insights, tips and advice on how to create commercial images and improve your work flow to profit from photography whether you're a hobbyist or a professional photographer.
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