Travel Photography can be one of the most straightforward genres for a photographer to get started, during a family vacation or a business trip. But to master it, requires a lot of hard work, continuous learning and persistence.
In this interview with Olivier Costier – travel and landscape photographer, we asked him everything you might want to know. From planning to equipment, accessories, settings and all the tips he can share on how to get “that photo”
Could you please start by introducing yourself to our readers?
Hey there, I’m Olivier Costier, I’m a French guy who fell in love with the art of photography in August 2016. Mechanical engineering is my day to day job and photography is my passion.
I’ve been around photography for almost a decade as I bought my first compact camera in 2011. It was during my expatriation in New York city where I lived for two and a half years that I got addicted to the art.
This city is a perfect playground for someone who wants to explore different styles of photography and that’s precisely what I did.
I’m now back in Paris – France since January 2017, and through photography, I’ve enjoyed rediscovering this city and many other places around the globe.
Which of these passions started first, Travel or Photography? In other words, do you travel with the purpose of photographing new places, or on the contrary, is the camera just a tool for capturing all your adventures, the countries you visited and the people you met?
Travelling was the reason I grabbed a camera in the first place. I was lucky to have been able to not just visit places but live in many places, other than my hometown, for several months or years either for my studies or work.
In the beginning, the camera was just a tool to keep memories but as I dove deeper into photography, I started visiting places to feed my hunger for a more graphical understanding of those places (what graphical stories can those places express?).
From the places you visited, could you describe those you particularly remember and that impressed you the most?
New York City holds a big place in my heart as a photographer. The scenes the city offers are as diverse as you can imagine and those allowed me to experiment with so many ideas and inspirations. New York kickstarted my love for photography. Another place I really love is the Dolomites mountains in Northern Italy, it was my first time hanging in the mountains in summer and the landscapes were strikingly beautiful.
What about your dream destination, the place for a trip that you haven’t done yet?
I would love to go deep in the Chinese countryside and discover its landscape diversity. South America is also on my bucket list and probably more reachable in the near future.
I would love to be able to speak with the locals and experience their culture without feeling like an intruder. This might be inevitable but seeing a foreigner putting the effort and trying to connect is always welcomed. So South America seems to be a more reasonable destination in this aspect.
When you finally decide on a new destination, what are the next steps in terms of planning?
Once I choose a destination. I usually create a map with all the points of interest I would like to visit, I try to do this indiscriminately. I eventually end up with a map that gives me the main areas/regions I should visit and the ones that might be out of reach regarding the time available for my travel. I use many resources to find the spots: Blogs, traveler websites, social media and personal recommendations are usually my main sources of inspiration.
Could you describe what do you usually carry inside your camera bag?
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