Travel Photography: Seaside Road Trip

with Mikkel Aaland
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Travel Photography: Seaside Road Trip
Video duration: 0s 45m 28s Intermediate


A favorite travel destination is the seaside small town—a place with salt air, beaches, shingled houses, and seafood on every menu. And a great way to get there is by car, making stops along the way.

In this course, photographer Mikkel Aaland travels to Mendocino, a classic seaside small town in Northern California, making stops in Mendocino's Anderson Valley and redwood forests along the way. The course details the gear and shooting strategies involved in capturing the personality of a small town and, just as important, its natural setting and the people who live there. Throughout the course, Mikkel emphasizes the importance of putting your own creative stamp on your travel photos through the use of simple props, friends, or family members.

Topics include:
  • Shooting along the way, from farm stands to redwoods
  • Engaging with—and photographing—the locals
  • Going beyond the postcard shot to personalize your photos
  • Stopping at a bed and breakfast
  • Shooting dunes, waves, and beaches
  • Reviewing the photos from the road trip

Setting the stage

- I love travel photography. I love going on adventures and taking pictures. There's just something about it. The minute I walk out of the door of my house, I get in the car and I'm heading off some place to the beach, to the countryside, I'm transformed. Something just comes over me. I'm not a different person, but I feel different. I love getting out in the world and just being there to see it, and to explore it, and to be open, and not knowing always what's around the corner or over the range.

When I go to photograph a place or a region or a location, I'm looking at many aspects. Of course, I'm looking at the people. I am a people person, but there's so many other aspects that I will also focus on. I don't limit myself. I love shooting the food. I love shooting signs. I love shooting the sky. There's so many things that I like to do in a place, and I'm always trying to extract the essence of that place, and really feel what that place is about.

I can only do that if I'm open, and willing to experiment, and maybe even stretch myself a little bit out of areas that I'm comfortable with. And when I do that, I'm always rewarded. I always get something out of it that's very special to me.

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