Travel Photography
An Interview With Mark Eden

Travel Photography can be all inclusive and indeed can cover so many different aspects of travel that I wanted to interview a professional photographer who would be able to explain their approach to the subject. This was in the hope that it would open up the subject to other photographers interested in this subject matter but who may not fully understand all that it can encompass.

Mark Eden is a freelance travel photographer who has travelled the world and whose work is sourght after not just by the public but also by corporate customers where his work has been used in many different media forms

Mark also runs his own website, Expanse Photography where much more of his work is available to view and to purchase.

Enjoy the interview.

Hello Mark, thank you for taking time out to share your experience with us today. I know that your insights on photography will be of great interest to many of my visitors.

Thanks Kate. It’s great to be involved with such a valuable resource for photographers.

First I would like to ask how you first became involved in photography and in particular travel photography?

Travel Photography - Photo by Mark Eden

Actually the traveling came first. I left Australia a few years ago to live overseas and see the world and began taking snaps as I went. It was then that I fell in love with photography. Without even realising it, I started to make more of an effort with composition and lighting. Eventually it dawned on me that this could be more than just something to do for fun. I had some success with stock sales and it has all just snowballed from there.

Did you have any formal training in photography?

Travel Photography - Photo by Mark Eden

I had no formal training at all apart from attending short seminars and workshops. Everything I learnt (or should say am still learning) was from online tutorials and articles, the advice of other photographers and trial and error. Others might prefer more of a classroom environment, but I find that this is the best way for me to develop as a photographer.

On your website www.expansephotography.com you have many galleries depicted various aspects of your work, one of which is world cities, a particular favourite of mine.

How would you describe your style of photography?

If I had to describe it I might say it is quite modern and colourful, but I think it is really influenced but the subject and what techniques might portray that subject best.

The challenge is always to photograph something in a way that it hasn’t been done before, which can lead to experimenting with new lighting techniques and compositions.

What does your camera equipment consist of and how would you recommend other photographer new to the field of travel photography approach this subject regarding essential equipment and transportation issues?

I really think simple is the best way to go. I usually travel with two camera bodies and a maximum of three lenses. A wide angle zoom, telephoto zoom and prime portrait lens cover just about any situation.

Plenty of memory, portable hard drives for backup and a small tripod are really the only essentials. Everything else depends on where I’m going and the photos I am planning to take. The golden rule for me is that if you need to check in your gear, you’re taking too much. I find that concerning yourself too much with equipment often ruins a good photo.

Do you have a favourite travel destination for your photography?

Travel Photography - Photo by Mark Eden

It changes every week. At the moment having not long returned home to Australia after living overseas I am enjoying seeing my own country with fresh eyes. I’m finding so many photography opportunities that I probably would have walked right past before.

Who are your big photographic influences?

Steve McCurry, who is probably on the list of influences almost every photographer, David DuChemin is one of the best travel photographers working today, and Chase Jarvis, who is actually an advertising photographer.

I respect Chase as much for the way he thinks about the photography industry as for his images.

There are many images on your website that I really like and, but if I had to pick two that for me, really caught my attention they would be Skyscrapers and Chinatown.

Can you tell me, did you have a particular vision for these images when you took them and was there a message or feeling that you wanted them to portray?

Travel Photography - Photo by Mark Eden

I wanted them to convey the mood and feel of the big city. The imposing skyscrapes of a business district that seem to close in on you and the hectic pace of Chinatown. Hopefully I did them justice.

Finally Mark, what advice would you give to a new photographer thinking of making travel photography their main subject matter?

Remember that “travel photography” is an all encompassing subject. It involves landscape photography, architecture, portraiture, food and just about any other genre you can name.

So keep your eyes open for all of these photo opportunities and keep an open mind about what can be a travel photo. What is part of our everyday lives may be exotic to someone else.