In this video by Wex Photo Video, Landscape and Travel Photographer Matt Parry gives some tips on how to take great travel photos while taking us on a journey through the streets of Delhi, India.
Travel photography is a very competitive genre, and with tons of Instagram accounts to follow and "how to" videos to watch, this well-produced video is welcome change of pace. Parry starts off not in list format (thank god), but in a relaxed narrative style. He presents his routine, as it were, without any "you need to do this and that." After he acclimatizes himself to his new surroundings, he locates a slightly more peaceful area where there seems to be less hustle and bustle. Here, the people have no qualms in asking Parry to photograph them, which is an obvious plus for any travel photographer, but especially so if one new to the field and has yet to find a boldness or confidence. Parry is quite effortless in they way he interacts with everyone; he's calm, respectful, and always offers a smile.
After the brief first foray into the Delhi streets he meets up with a local, fellow professional photographer Sundeep Bali, who accompanies him to various points of interest around the city. Within this interaction is an important lesson for us: finding someone local, especially bi-lingual, can be the making of a trip like this. Not only can a relationship like this help one to navigate the cultural norms of a foreign land, but also a like-minded person will be able to steer you to the best locations for photography. After all, a nice view does not make a good photo.
In the last segment of the video the viewer is introduced to a tour guide who is a former street child, and he takes Parry to his former shelter home which is part of major charity, the Salaam Baalak Trust. This is another great example of being proactive in learning about the country one is visiting. India, for all its vibrancy, amazing food, and smiling faces, is a place of serious inequality, and it's important for photographers not to gloss over the more unpleasant nature of destinations. It's a difficult dichotomy to juggle for a travel photographer as opposed to a documentary photographer, but here, Parry does it in an admirably positive yet honest fashion. Not only is he getting valuable insight into the community while employing a young man who managed to pull himself out of a desperate situation, but he's documenting the inequality in a subtle manner by highlighting the need for such charities. And, who knows, maybe the photos can help to change the situation for some.