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Phil Douglis | profile | all galleries >> Galleries >> Gallery Thirty Four: Photographing the tourist in all of us tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Gallery Thirty Four: Photographing the tourist in all of us

A tourist is a traveler who travels for pleasure. Most travel photographers, unless they are professionals, are simply tourists with cameras. Wherever we may go, we find other tourists there as well. They come from all over the world. On my most recent visit to the Orient, most of the tourists I encountered were from China and Japan. Their pleasures were no different than mine. They wanted to see, learn, discover, and enjoy unfamiliar scenes, people, and places. And most of them carried digital cameras in their hands.

Most serious travel photographers will go to great lengths to avoid getting stray tourists into their images. When we are trying to evoke the past, for example, a reminder of present day commerce in our image is usually not what we are looking for.

However there are times where tourists themselves can make the picture work for us. Instead of avoiding pictures that include tourists, why not make evocative images involving tourism itself? I have created this gallery made up entirely of tourists on the tourist track, doing the things that tourists do – as both groups and individuals. There can be a world of photographic opportunity in such subject matter. Tourism can be as rich in human values and incongruity as any other subject, and can become as abstract as we choose to make it.

I hope this gallery will encourage you to incorporate your fellow tourists into your photographic ideas. I’ve selected most of these images from my archive of digital travel articles posted at:

This gallery is presented in "blog" style. A large thumbnail is displayed for each image, along with a detailed caption explaining how I intended to express my ideas. If you click on the large thumbnail, you can see it in its full size, as well as leave comments and read the comments of others. I hope you will be able to participate in the dialogue. I welcome your comments, suggestions, ideas, and questions, and will be delighted to respond.