Home TravelTopicsOpinion Three world-class travel photographers that inspire me to travel

Three world-class travel photographers that inspire me to travel

by Elisa Flitter Fever
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A photo can say more than a thousand words. Photographs can be inspiring, moving and admirable. A travel photographer tells a story with his or her images. Jimmy Nelson, Frans Lanting and David Yarrow are three world-class photographers that I admire. Each of them has their very own unique style and speciality. They inspire me to travel to beautiful destinations around the world.

An inspiring travel photo by Jimmy Nelson

Jimmy Nelson (1967)

Born in the UK, Jimmy Nelson started traveling at a young age as the son of a geologist who worked for Shell, living in Africa, Asia and South America. After boarding school in the UK Jimmy traveled on foot through Tibet for two years, he was just 17 years old and only had a small camera. After publication in the National Geographic, Jimmy’s star started to rise. He worked as a photojournalist in war zones and traveled around China for 2.5 years. Nowadays Jimmy lives with his family in Amsterdam. Some may find his work too posed, but I find his portraits powerful, like you look into the person’s soul. Last year Jimmy published his latest book Homage to Humanity.

© Jimmy Nelson

Ever since I saw Jimmy in the Dutch TV show of Ivo Niehe 6 years ago, I am intrigued by his breathtaking work. Just look at Jimmy’s Instagram page as you will see what I mean. For his book Before They Pass Away, Jimmy Nelson traveled the world for three years to photograph 35 indigenous tribes. This book is the greatest pride in my bookcase at home. What a fantastic travel photographer! Of course I had to visit Castricum Beach when a bunch of big size prints of the Before They Pass Away series were exposed there a few years ago. Jimmy inspired me to visit the Himba tribe in Namibia. Tanzania, Papua New Guinea, India and Mongolia are still on my bucketlist.

Frans Lanting (1951)

Born in Rotterdam, Frans Lanting grew up in South Holland province as the son of a boat builder. With his special interest in nature and an eye for detail, light and composition, Frans made it all the way to the top of nature photography, mostly working for National Geographic. Nowadays Frans lives and works in Los Angeles. He works with people like Jane Goodall but is always prepared to endure hardships to create new fantastic images. A true travel photographer.

© Frans Lanting

On his Instagram page (1 million followers) Frans describes himself as ‘Creator of images, stories and events to inspire wonder and concern about our living planet’. Frans’ work has been rewarded by many prestigious photography awards and published in many books, of which Pinguin and Into Africa (Eye to Eye) are my top favorites. Looking at his work makes me dream about visiting Antarctica, Borneo, Madagascar, Rwanda and Uganda one day.

David Yarrow (1966)

Born and living in the UK, David Yarrow grew up as the son of a business man. David still lives in the UK, London to be precisely. David started off his photography career at sports events, winning the Young Scottish Photographer of the Year award when he was just 20-years-old. For years he led a double life, working in Finance and as a photographer. Nowadays, he easily sells prints of his work for US$10K or more, in a recent auction one for more than USD 106K! His book Wild encounters is my favorite. His latest (4th) book includes 368 pages filled with his strongest images of the last two years.

© David Yarrow

David is a star in black and white; mostly wild animals up close, sometimes involves people in the photograph too. As you may have noticed on his Instagram page, David regularly uses his photos to address ethical issues and other things that deserve our support, such as the very recent #KoalaComeback campaign with WILDARK, to raise $2 million to support recovery efforts in Australia. Did you donate yet?! David makes me want to travel to Antarctica, Yellowstone NP, Alaska and Kenya.  

Connect @ Instagram

Obviously I need to thank my own personal travel photographer, in most cases my boyfriend Tom. On other trips friends like Mirjam, Anja, Diny, Irene, Melissa, etc. Although I do not have the illusion of ever reaching the top level of these three fantastic photographers, I do hope you like my gallery on Instagram too. If you do not follow me yet, please do so soon.

These travel photo books are great gifts for any one who loves traveling! Do you have a favourite photographer? Who inspires you to travel? Please feel free to leave a comment below.

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Last Updated on 03/09/2021 by Elisa Flitter Fever

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