Interview with Gary Arndt: Capturing the World Through Travel Photography

Africans doing a traditional dance and playing instruments.

Join us as we delve into the journey of acclaimed photographer Gary Arndt. From his humble beginnings with a Nikon D200 to his globetrotting adventures, Arndt shares his insights on his love for travel and straightforward approach to photography.

This is a brief interview, but his photos speak for themselves and I think it provides inspiration for getting out there and taking photos.

An African boy with a yellow soccer jersey fishing with a net from a boat.

Brandon Ballweg: How did you get started in photography?

Gary Arndt: I purchased a Nikon D200 back in 2007 when I sold my home to travel around the world. I figured buying an expensive fancy camera would automatically mean taking good photos. I quickly figured out that wasn’t how it worked.

I spend the next several years traveling around the world, honing my craft, and becoming a better photographer.

Workers on an airstrip giving a thumbs up on either side of a Navy jet.

BB: What drew you specifically to travel photography?

GA: In 2007 I set out to travel around the world, which I did up until the pandemic started in 2020. I’m a traveler first and foremost, and my photography comes out of my love of travel. I have no interest in wedding photography or other types of photography.

A crowd of kids.

BB: Do you have any influences in photography?

GA: I grew up reading National Geographic, and I actually have one of the largest collections of National Geographic magazines in the world. Other than that, I can’t say I really studied any particular photographer.

A short woman carry a large bundle of wood down a steep road.

BB: Are there any photography books that inspired you or that you learned from?

GA: No. I never read any books on photography. I am 100% self-taught.

A group of camels on a strip of land with water on either side.

BB: How would you describe your photographic style?

GA: I am an opportunistic photographer. I am not going to spend a day setting up to get one shot. I travel and take images of what I see in the course of my travels.

An aerial view of an area with many lakes and ponds.

BB: What’s your ultimate goal with your photography?

GA: To share with the world the places I visit and hopefully inspire people to visit on their own.

The taj mahal.

BB: What inspires and motivates you to create?

GA: I am inspired by the people and places I visit.

A waterfall with a rainbow.

BB: What approach do you take as far as gear for travel photography? Do you pack as light as possible or bring a lot of gear with you so that you have the most versatile kit and get the best possible image quality?

GA: You can’t travel effectively while carrying a ton of gear. For the most part, I travel with just two lenses; a super zoom and a wide angle. That covers almost everything you will encounter. I do have a 500mm lens for wildlife shoots, but I only bring that if I know I’ll be using it.

An ocean with rock formations.

BB: In what ways has your photography evolved over the years, and is there a particular style that you’re gravitating towards?

GA: I like to think it is gotten better, but there is no particular syle I’m trying to achieve. It is what it is.

A body of water with trees growing out of it.
The Taj Mahal from the front.

BB: Where can people find your travel photography work?

You can find my photos at:

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