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(c) by guest blogger Cristiano Burmester from Brazil

Throughout my personal journey, travel photography has played a special role in my life. It taught me to see. To see in such a way that I can understand the world, the environment, the people and how it all relates with one another.

I have been in Nepal more than once and I was impressed by the landscapes. Especially the view from Lake Pokhara, which is situated around 700 meters above sea level. From here you can see the peak of Machapuchare a mountain that reaches a height above 7000 meters.  Imagine that from only ten miles away there are more than 6000 meters of difference in altitude. In comparison you will find on the North American continent only two mountains above 6000 meters.

The experience of seeing such a majestic geological phenomenon really makes you think. With the camera in my hands I am able to frame aspects about the environment and the people who live there. How do they manage? It’s cold, it’s tough to get water, and there is not enough soil to grow a harvest. No doubt living here is a challenge and I am sure a lot of people face even tougher ones in different parts of the world.

So how has travel photography helped me to build a perspective about a place or a culture?

My process is to look at the environment frame by frame instead of keeping my finger on my shutter in “continuous” mode. In other words if I see without a camera first it will make it easier to isolate different aspects of the surroundings. Pressing the shutter release is a matter of creative choice.

We take a picture when a setting or situation means something to us. Be it different, similar, inquisitive or astonishing and by doing that we are constantly dealing with our feelings and thoughts. It was a valuable discovery for me when I truly that photography helped me to balance reason and emotion.

In today`s digital world where it is so easy to shoot, manipulate, and distort I make only one remark. We can’t loose our ability to see because photography is about looking with your mind and heart and not using your finger as an extension of your eyes.

What is your method to resist the temptation to rely on quantity and your post production skills? What do you do to really see?

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