Laurence Norah is an accomplished travel photographer known for his stunning landscapes and authentic approach to photography. From his early days developing film in a darkroom to his current digital adventures, Laurence’s passion for capturing the natural wonders of the world shines through. He shares his influences, tips for photographing while traveling, and the evolution of his photographic style.
Whether you’re an aspiring photographer or simply a lover of awe-inspiring imagery, Norah’s insights will leave you inspired and eager to get out and explore the world around us.
Ready to embark on a visual journey? Let’s dive into the intriguing world of Laurence Norah’s travel photography.
Brandon Ballweg: How did you get started in photography?
Laurence Norah: I was very lucky in that when I turned 13 my parents gifted me a lovely Canon AE-1, which is a film SLR. They were very encouraging and supportive, and I started taking photos. At school I had access to a dark room, so I was also able to learn how to develop film, which was a lot of fun. These days of course I shoot digitally, but I do still have that AE-1 on a shelf somewhere!
BB: What drew you specifically to travel photography?
LN: Well, I love to travel, and specifically I love hiking in the great outdoors. The landscapes that this planet has to offer are just stunning, and I love the challenge of trying to capture them through my lens. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of being alone in a beautiful spot, capturing a perfect moment.
BB: Do you have any influences in photography?
LN: So I wouldn’t say I had any one or two particular influences that I follow specifically, or that I feel influence me. Over the years of course I’ve seen tens of thousands of images from a number of photographers and artists which have inspired me. Everyone from JMW Turner to Colby Brown have provided some level of inspiration for my work. But I think it’s important to develop one’s own style rather than to necessarily try to replicate what others are doing.
BB: Are there any photography books that inspired you or that you learned from?
LN: As I mentioned earlier, I think I was very lucky to have access to photography training and equipment while I was at school, so that was where I learned a lot of the science and techniques of photography. Our teacher was great and honest (and sometimes quite direct!) feedback. So I think that rather than books, that is where a lot of my initial learning came from. Since then, I find that my best learning experiences come from going out shooting with other photographers, which I always find inspirational.
BB: How would you describe your photographic style?
LN: My passion is landscape photography, and I like to try and depict a scene as honestly as I can. So whilst I might do a long exposure or tweak the colors a bitt, I want people to feel that what they see in my images is not a radical departure from what they would see if they visited. Nature already makes enough beauty that I feel I don’t need to play with it too much!
BB: What tips do you have for photographing while traveling?
LN: The main tip I have is to have patience. I often see people just turn up at a spot, grab a photo or two, and then leave. However, you can nearly always get a better picture if you are prepared to wait a bit. Sometimes that might mean waiting for a break in the clouds so the sun comes out and nicely illuminates the scene. Or it might mean waiting for a few people to wander out of shot so you can get an image without people in it.
I also think choosing the right equipment for you is really important. I don’t think getting hung up in gear is a good idea, because the skill of the photographer is really the most important thing, but it is definitely important that you take the right gear with you for the trip. So for example, what I’ll take with me for a safari shoot is going to be radically different to what I take with me for shooting landscapes. It’s also important to be realistic about what you are going to carry and use on a day to day basis.
BB: What inspires and motivates you to create?
LN: I feel incredibly lucky to do what I do, which is to travel the world, take pictures of it and write about my experiences to help others. I’m also always delighted to hear from readers about how our content has helped them plan their own trips and create their own memories.
BB: What would you like viewers to feel when they see your work?
LN: Honestly, I’d just love people to feel that they want to go and see the places that I’ve photographed. Or, if it’s a place that they are familiar with, that they feel I’ve captured it in a way that evokes a happy memory or positive feelings.
BB: In what ways has your photography evolved over the years, and is there a particular style that you’re gravitating towards?
LN: Like many photographers, I got pretty obsessed with HDR photography earlier on in my photography adventures. So back then I would say my style was a lot less realistic and rather more towards the artistic. These days I definitely still play with all the tools at my disposal, but the goal is to create more natural looking images. I always think that a photographer should try to create work that pleases themselves first and foremost, so I don’t think there’s a “wrong” way to do things. But it’s also nice to evolve and change your style as you go.
BB: Is there anything I haven’t asked you that you’d like to share?
LN: I don’t think so! I think all I would say to anyone reading with a passion for photography is to just get out there and take more photos. The more you practice, the better you are going to become.
BB: Where can people find your travel photography work?
LN: I have a lot of photography guides on my website, which you’ll find in the photography section here: https://www.findingtheuniverse.com/category/photography/
I also teach an online travel photography course, where I share everything I know about photography. You can find that here: https://travelphotographycourse.com/