Travel Photography: Art For Your Home

So many people are intimidated by the blank walls in their home. Some find the prospect of finding “the right” wall art so daunting that they remain unadorned. Most of us already have beautiful images sitting idly on our computers, digital cameras, and even phones, anticipating their higher calling as decor for our homes.

There are many benefits to using your own photography to create one-of-a-kind decor for your home.

1.) Your photography is truly unique.

Unlike buying mass market wall art from Pottery Barn, Ballard Designs, Crate & Barrel and the like, you can rest assured knowing that no one else has the same image, displayed in the same way, in their home.

2.) A good frame and mat can elevate and enhance your photograph to the level of fine art.

Art Nouveau Mural - Bruges

This is an enlarged and framed photograph I took while vacationing in Bruges, Belgium. While Bruges is a city known for its well-preserved architecture, it is not a place where you encounter a great deal of art nouveau (though nearby Brussels is the epicenter of the art nouveau movement). When I happened upon this incredible, small mural gracing the facade of a residential building there, I knew I had to snap a few photos – super close-up, to capture as much detail as possible. If I had it to do over again, I’d have chosen a more flamboyant frame, but this one still echoes and enhances the subject.

3.) Photographs make great conversation pieces.

Taj Mahal

Oh, you went there! Where was that? Really, you took that – it looks professional! Get ready for the compliments to roll in. This unique perspective of the Taj Mahal as sunset approached hangs in our master bedroom, and never fails to spark a conversation. And yes, I went there :).

Taj Mahal - Close-Up

4.) A framed photo enlargement is even less expensive than a framed mass market print.

If you have a huge wall (or walls) in your home, as many of us do, an economical and logical way to address it is with a very large wall hanging or frame. I won’t address the cost of custom framing, which varies widely depending upon the size and type of frame selected, but large prints aren’t as pricey as you might think. I am a big fan of mpix, which offers different finishes (including a cool pearlescent finish on metallic paper), as well as color correction services with orders of any size. The current price for a 24×36 standard print is just $44.99 – for a full pricing list, check out Splurge on the frame, if you can. A local, mom-and-pop style custom framing shop will typically offer the most unique frames and provide great service, including expert recommendations on what styles and mats will look best with your photograph. In my neighborhood, I like The Frame Studio (Newton, MA).

5.) You can create any size you like, to fit whatever space you have.

Instead of spending countless hours searching online or in stores for the perfect wall art that’s also the perfect size and shape, why not start with a beautiful photograph you love, and enlarge it to the size you need.

6.) You’ll be reminded daily of a great memory from your family’s travels.

Enough said!

Now I’ve surely convinced you to start digging through your online photo stores for buried treasure. But what if you don’t feel that you have any art-worthy images? I can assure you if that is the case, it doesn’t mean you don’t have the ability to take these types of photographs – professional talent is not required. While you are busy snapping candids of the kids, pick up your head and look at what’s around you. You just have to know what to look for when you are on vacation, or out and about on the town.

Here are a few ideas:

Dramatic angles

Sculpture in London

Even ordinary objects may look extraordinary when photographed from an extreme angle.

Beautiful colors, light and shadow

Hammock on Peter Island, BVI

Be on the lookout for stark contrasts of colors, brilliant saturated hues, and the play of light and shadow. A pastel art deco hotel against a clear blue sky. An especially dramatic sunset over the ocean waves. The long late evening shadow of a palm tree.

Novel objects and scenes

Building in Brussels

Spotted something you haven’t seen anywhere else? This is probably a good photo opportunity.

Lastly, always remember to snap lots of pictures of the same thing, assuming you are using a digital camera. Memory cards hold so much data these days, you need not be selective of what you photograph, or how many shots you take. Try a variety of different angles, zoom levels, etc. Have fun – and when you get home, don’t forget to see through the fruits of your labor by creating a special piece of photographic wall art for your home!

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Kelly Rogers

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