Photographer Alex Treadway, whose work has been featured in National Geographic and other prominent publications, travels around the world to capture images for our Luxury Gold magazine. We caught up with him to find out more about his journeys and what inspires him.
Story by Alex Treadway
Travel photography is never an exact science and sometimes the unexpected is just what you need. I climbed to a remote little lake in the mountains in Scotland to photograph The Cape Wrath Trail. During the long and cold climb, the sky turned grey and it started snowing. I very nearly turned back assuming it wasn’t going to be my day. I persevered and just as I got to the spectacular little loch looking out over Torridon, I was rewarded with a beautiful sunset which lit up the river emptying from the loch. I used a tripod and a slightly slow exposure to add movement to the water. By using the tripod I could also set the timer and put myself into the composition as well.
People and portraits
I have always – and still do – enjoy photographing people the most. I think for any photographer working with people, having an openness to generate a connection with the subject is at the heart of intimate portrait work. Robert Capa once said, “If your photos aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.” I love that quote, and it’s always been present in my approach. I rarely work with long lenses, especially for portrait work. 50mm and 85mm is where I like to be. I want to be up close and personal. I love the challenge of developing a connection with the people I’m photographing, so I can get their trust, but mostly, so I can tell the truth.
While shooting during a Luxury Gold trip in the beautiful little village of Evora, I came across this old man outside his home. I love the colorful paintwork on the walls that lead the eye into the frame. It gives the frame a context and a small insight into his life while sitting outside his house watching the world go by. The more story an image can portray, the more interesting it will be.
Landmark sites like the Taj Mahal are so recognizable, I think it’s fun to move the focus of the shot somewhere else. By just including a hint of the landmark can be enough, and then play with a different aspect of the site altogether.
Landscapes and landmarks
For portraits, I like to work in the moment and catch spontaneous expression, whereas for landscape work I approach things differently. Knowing where and when to shoot is important, so a bit of planning and patience can make all the difference.
During another assignment for Luxury Gold in Dubrovnik, I took this image [above] from the city walls. I used a Neutral Density filter, so I could slow down the shutter speed enough to blur the people below. Then I just needed to wait for twilight and enjoy the view.
You can follow Alex and his travels here: