Editor's note: Welcome to Yahoo! Travel Photo of the Week, chosen from the Flickr group created by our readers - you! Each week a professional photographer will select a photo that stands out from the crowd, and explain why they chose it. To have your own photo considered, join our Flickr group and start submitting your own photos!
June 22, 2012
What wonderful places you visit; what interesting things you see. This week’s Yahoo! Travel Photo of The Week competition takes us around the world, and back in time, in five photos: Thailand, Japan, Costa Rica, California and Spain.
Let’s begin in Thailand, in a place called Phi Phi Lei. Talk about far away and exotic, Phi Phi Lei is near Phuket, scene of the terrible Tsunami of 2004. The photographer, using a wide-angle lens, has placed a small, beached, runabout against a backdrop of a languid cove, magnificent rock cliffs and a mango colored sunset. There’s a sailboat anchored on the horizon, a thirty-eight or forty footer. Have the people on the sailboat come ashore in the runabout? It’s a good photo, but does it lack a little sparkle?
On, to Japan and Mount Fuji. This image was apparently made while the photographer was riding on one of Japan’s high speed trains. The train’s plastic window probably accounts of the muted colors. Still, it’s such a beautiful composition and it could easily be a painting on silk. Is there a more graceful mountain than Fuji-san anywhere in the world?
Now, off to Arenal, Costa Rica. As I look at this photo, shot in the mountains above Laguna De Arenal, in the state of Guanacaste, I can feel the warm, tropical breeze and hear the screeches of cockatoos. In the foreground is an inviting green (faux-natural) pool with a waterfall spilling from beneath what looks like a huge sago palm and the finest philodendron you’ve ever seen. But, darn, those plants are crowding out the fine looking mountain in the background.
Our next photograph was made, according to the photographers notes, just off highway 101 in Southern California. Dude had to get wet because he/she’s got the camera right down in the surf and it’s a long exposure. Seriously wet. This image is flat-out cool. Shot at sunset, it has a dramatic sky for a backdrop and a fantastic rock, angled at forty-five degrees, in the middle ground that just begs to be climbed. Technically excellent, it’s a fine photo. But ... it could be anywhere and I like travel photos to give me a little info about where they were made.
The last contender was shot in Spain, northeast of Barcelona. There stands the ancient walled town of Tossa del Mar. Photographer Андрей Гривицкий shows us how this 14th Century town may have looked in 1315. If it weren’t for that little area on the right, where there’s a modern boat rental facility, it would be a perfect travel photo. The richness of the colors, the reflections on the calm Mediterranean Sea ... darn that new building and those red umbrellas. Yet of all of this weeks choices it has the best positive to negative ratio. It is what it is, standing proud and gracefully; a bulwark against storm and invasion; looking, perhaps, very much the way it did almost 700 years ago and now, the Yahoo! Travel Photo of The Week.
Tip of the Week
If your camera has the ability, make it put grid marks on your viewfinder screen. It will most likely be divided into the classic “Rule of Thirds.” Here’s a link. Read up, learn and be happy.
Ask yourself what draws you to the subject you want to photograph. Will your photograph convey your answer to someone else? Ask yourself how you can make it do that? You will find this isn’t always easy.
Alabama-based Michael Clemmer has been a photojournalist/travel photographer, landscape and golf course photographer for over four decades. Once a Senior Travel Photographer for Southern Living Magazine, he has also worked as an assignment photographer for the National Geographic Society and his photographs have been used in fine publications around the world. He currently specializes in golf landscape photography — visit his web site at michaelclemmer.com