I’ve had some wonderful travel assignments, thank you, in particular, to Travel & Leisure and Conde Nast Traveler. These haven’t been trips to expensive hotels. Which suits me perfectly, although I do enjoy a comfortable place to lay my head. My days of sleeping under pickup trucks in snow storms are hopefully over.
I don’t mind some physical stress as long as I’m making pictures that move me. It often works like that. If you’re off the grid a bit there won’t be a Starbucks nearby (I surely do enjoy my morning coffee) or a paved road to follow. The rewards are many, though, not the least of which is a measure of solitude.
The best travel stories, to me, are the ones with the least hype. If you were to go to this place, you’d see, with your own eyes, the same kinds of pictures. I’m thinking of the photogaphs Paul Strand did toward the end of his life, for example in the Outer Hebrides. I don’t need to see Gourmet Magazine food dishes, or Architectural Digest interiors or National Geographic sunsets. Those aspects of travel are perhaps best expressed in words, the pictures of which never match how good simple food can taste or the colors of the evening sky.
As with any photograph, the litmus test is always the same: will the image have value the day after it’s published?