In the months leading up to the publication of The Travel Issue, there were several unsuccessful séances. We attempted to reach greats such as Marco Polo, Juan Ponce de Leon, and Nellie Bly. We couldn’t even get the ghost of the guy who created the old Oregon Trail computer game to respond. Knowing our attempts to source information about amazing places from those no longer with us were falling short, the Whalebone Magazine crew did the next best thing, we threw away our magic genie turban, blew out the 312 candles, returned the fog machine, and picked up the phone and called Condé Nast Traveler. The call went something like this:
Hello, This is Whalebone Magazine.
“Hello, Condé Nast Traveler, how may I help you?”
“Yes, hello, this is Whalebone Magazine and we’re working on an upcoming Travel Issue. We’re looking to see if you might know a few of the better travel photographers—that are alive, very important that they are still alive—that CNTraveler admires and respects that we could talk with about an upcoming feature. We’re thinking these individuals would be able to answer the question, ‘Could you identify your favorite travel destination along with a few words on what makes it your favorite place to visit.’ We would love to collaborate with Condé Nast Traveler on this feature because you guys are the preeminent force of knowing good photography and the talent that travels the world daily and we admire the hell out of your style and approach to travel.”
“Hello, this is Condé Nast Traveler, sorry I could not hear you, I think you broke up a little, could you repeat that?”
“[Sigh] Is there an email address where we could send you some information?”
Big thank you to Condé Nast Traveler for helping us bring together six of the better (living) travel photographers and giving us a peek into their favorite places to visit.
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Where Ya Been?
While it’s not for everyone and has a physically taxing pace, I would say the archipelago of Svalbard is top of my list. I was there in March and it was one of the most surreal, beautiful places you can imagine. We snowmobiled 120 miles across glaciers out onto the frozen sea ice looking for polar bears. The scale, light, brutal elements and adventure were just amazing.
Fernando de Noronha: This remote island off the northeast coast of Brazil is like no other and had been on my wish list for some time. It’s an ecological reserve so cars are limited, nothing is built on the shores, there’s a limit to the number of people that can visit each day. Its beaches are consistently voted best in the world. It’s extremely difficult to get to and fairly expensive so it was the perfect spot to detach and spend my honeymoon.
India is quite disarming at first, but it eventually embraces you with all its beauty and energy.
It challenges you in every way possible, it pushes all your buttons. After a trip there you are sure to come back spiritually enriched, more patient with a wide smile, and the desire to go back as soon as possible.
–Paola & Murray
Sadly, as photographers, we bring these cultures the very disease that we wish to stave off.
With the rate of change accelerating in every corner of the world, here in the early part of the twenty-first century — travel photographers are now documentary photographers. They’re recording for future generations a time on earth that is quickly disappearing. It is with this motivation that Andrea and I have returned again and again to Oaxaca, Mexico. We have found that the women of Oaxaca carry within them the most ancient traditions of the Zapotec people. They seamlessly transfer this heritage from mother to daughter, from neighbor to neighbor. They do this with love and respect and joy.
Sadly, as photographers, we bring these cultures the very disease that we wish to stave off. By heralding Oaxaca as a destination, we sow the seeds of change. It is that very that change erodes the culture we have grown to love.
As a photographer curious about people and places, I’ve always longed to visit India. I visited for the first time last year and people told me that I would either “love or hate it.” That the sheer too-much-ness would be overwhelming. I fell resolutely in the “love it” camp.
It was too much—too many people, too hot, too kitschy, too many horns, the food too spicy, too much rubbish, too confusing, the smells too pungent and perhaps most of all, the too-wide disparity between hopeless poverty and overwhelming opulence. But despite all this, India will be forever etched in my memory as a fabulous, colorful, cinematic experience. There’s nowhere else on earth like it.
My favourite place is Le Huchet, France. There is a magnificent beach house located by the coast. A fantastic place to stay if you want to spend some quiet time by the beach, but still want a comfortable stay.
Location: Cyril Lignac’s La Chocolaterie, Paris. I’m very sentimental about Paris—it is close to my heart and excites me each and every time I return. Moments in everyday life feel elevated, suspended in time, and somehow my eyes are more open to the beauty and rich details around me.