Having visited all seven continents on assignment for prestigious magazines such as National Geographic Traveler and Smithsonian, you could say that photographer Bob Krist knows a thing or two about travel photography. Like Steve McCurry
, Krist takes incredible photos of faraway place, capturing a country's culture in a way that's completely original and unbelievably inspiring. Not only do you get to experience beautiful landscapes and important monuments, you get to see how people from all over the world celebrate their rich history.
Krist believes in the "National Geographic ethos" -- the idea that "the camera is not a shield between you and the culture or the place you're encountering, but that it can be an excuse to explore it deeper and appreciate it more." He adds, "The more you travel and really look, the more universal truths you discover. You start finding the familiar in the exotic and the humanity of the people you're photographing. There are the great human themes we all share -- it doesn't matter whether you're wearing an orange robe or a three-piece-suit."
To find unique stories, Krist often looks for cultural festivals, either before he goes or when he get to a place. As he explains, "The world is getting more homogeneous -- you can be walking around a small village in Portugal, and everyone is inside watching satellite television. But a festival, or even just a small event like a first communion, gets people out of their homes and into the streets and usually in a good mood where they are approachable to be photographed.
"I was shooting a story in Burma and asked a guide about festivals or anything special going on. They told us about a New Year's Day pilgrimage to the Golden Rock, which is one of the holiest sites of Buddhism. So we went up there and as the sun was setting and twilight happened, all these pilgrims came with thousands of lighted candles under the Golden Rock. It was one of those visual epiphanies that hardly ever happens -- a sight that is acid-etched in your brain, and I managed to get it on film."
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