SINCE THE 2012 LAUNCH OF MY PODCAST, The One Way Ticket Show, I’ve interviewed some of today’s most exciting photographers, including Wyatt Gallery. Gallery is the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship, the PDN 30, the PDN Rising Stars, and 25 Under 25 Up-and-Coming American Photographers by Duke University. His photographs are in numerous public and private collections. Gallery’s first book: “Tent Life: Haiti” sold out of its first edition. That was followed by “#SANDY” which was selected for “Best Photo Books of 2014” by American Photo magazine. 100% of royalties from both books were donated to support rebuilding efforts.
In my recent interview with Gallery (yes, that’s really his last name!) I sought tips for shooting iconic destinations to make them look fresh, ahead of the summer travel season.
Here are his 5 pointers:
1. Channel your inner Zen
“I’m a big believer in daily mediation and I feel that that puts me in a zone that attracts the deeper photographs [and] that I will end up in these places at the right time of day with the right light. So I feel that that (mediation) is key to getting an experience that is not just the surface level tourist experience.”
2. Keep your camera in its case
“Don’t take any pictures! Yes, that’s right, I said it. Don’t take the first picture you see! Sit there for a little while. Absorb the scene. Absorb the environment. Be there. Experience there. And then feel what you’re drawn to with the camera. Just because it’s digital and we can take thousands of photos [don’t] go pressing the shutter button non-stop, and shooting everything. Take a moment. Feel it out and really feel what you’re drawn to.”
3. Rise before the roosters
“Wake up really early in the morning, before the sun rises and get outside for when the sun is rising and get the beautiful, colorful light that’s going to come up in that morning miracle hour. And do the same thing in the afternoon. I try to only photograph inside in the middle of the day, and then I wait to do the outside shots.”
4. Patience makes perfect
“I’ll see a scene that I like and I’ll sit there and wait and wait until the right moment, the right light, the right person walks by, whatever it is. You have to take your time. People have to stop rushing thru spaces.”
5. Ditch the cell
“Get off your phone! Everyone’s walking around with their head down, looking on their phone. You’re in a foreign country. Get rid of the phone. Don’t even use GPS. Ask people for directions. Interact with people. Expose yourself. Put yourself out there so that you have to talk to other people. And that is going to generate an amazing trip [and amazing photos].” As a photographer, I had to chime in with one tip myself:
6. Watch your back
“Someone once told me that if you don’t like what you’re going to shoot, turn around and take the shot that’s behind you!”