unMonday: sense of place

I was going to upload some photos from a hiking trip that I took this weekend, but I decided to try an editing method that was suggested by a few photographers.  And that method is to let your photos “marinate” for awhile; let them sit for at least a few days, so that, when you revisit them, you will edit and process them with clarity and emotional distance.

So while I let those hiking photos stew for a bit, I’d like to share with you a few more photos from my trip to the East Coast.  One of the things that interests me most about good travel photos is the conveyance of a “sense of place”.  Good landscape, street, or architectural travel photos are nice, but what really grabs my attention is a photo that transports my mind and imagination to the very place that is depicted in the photo.  In order to do that, the photo doesn’t necessarily need to represent a place with perfect accuracy, nor does it need to contain a famous landmark for a point of reference.  The qualities that give a photo a good “sense of place” are difficult to describe – they’re definitely more  abstract and emotional – making it very challenging to capture a truly good travel photograph.

I’ve chosen these four photos from New York because, for me, they give me the feeling of being there in those places.  These are not necessarily my best photos from my trip, but they seem to convey a “sense of place” more than most of the other photos.  When I look at these photos, I imagine the screeching subways, the honking traffic, the bustling pedestrians, and the smell of cigarette smoke .

Do any of these photos convey to you a “sense of place”?  Why or why not?  Please leave a comment, and be honest!


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