Philip Lee Harvey gives us an insight into the photography of Travel, from Voodoo in Haiti to inspiration from one of modern cinema’s masters of landscape and light
Before the security check-ins, before the endless queues at check-in and passport control before weekend city breaks, and stag and hen-parties, before the journey became a backdrop to something else we were doing there was Travel. Philip Lee Harvey is not a travel photographer – he is a photographer who explores the idea of travel, the natural and man-made spaces of Travel, the altered perceptions these spaces generate.
From the liquid landscapes of Hawaii
to the manicured light-scapes of the high-end hotel
It’s travel as visual sensation – the turquoise luminosity of the water against the golden glow of the leaves in Five Flower Lake China.
Or stand before the cobalt dawn at Mount Cook National Park, New Zealand.
His work has been featured newspapers and magazines such as The Independent, the Saturday Telegraph, Condé Nast Traveller, Tatler, Vanity Fair, and his clients include Sony, British Airways and Volkswagen Mastercard.
You can see why clients might look to his work to be seduced by the idea of travel and its spaces, from the lush-futurism of hotel lobbies
to the vertigo of the office district.
On his website Lee harvey quotes Robert Louis Stevenson, “For my part I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.” Lee Harvey’s skill is in capturing the dream of Travel, the escape, escaping from work, from life, from love, to love, where the escape becomes it’s own journey.
A shot of a single object that expresses a powerful memory/event
This was my first camera, now enjoyed by my 2 young sons….. I often wonder if the best photos I ever took were on this…
An image of three books that have inspired you?
Salgado as he really showed me what the best looks like, Newby, because he brings humour to travel and McKuen as his poems create the images I can only dream about.
Favourite photo you have taken?
Maasai Bride on her wedding day, Kenya
What’s the most obscure place you have taken photographs?
What is the dynamic between the photojournalist work you do and the commercial photography you undertake? Are they completely separate, or can ideas and techniques travel across?
If you mean between travel and lifestyle,then they definitely cross over. One helps and influences the other. For me, its about the emotion you can create…
If I am shooting a major ad campaign or a travel editorial, the desire to achieve a great image is equal.
Light is important to your photography, what is it about daylight only that you like?
It’s real, its what we all live by everyday, it’s timeless and full of emotion.
Do you follow the action on assignments or try to influence it to get the shot you want?
Both. Often, especially when working in advertising. The image we want to achieve has often been discussed at great length and between many people. It’s then over to me to create what we have discussed. I will sometimes spend a lot of time setting up a scene, then shooting it as if I’ve just discovered it… it keeps the spontaneity. Whatever shoot I am on, it’s very important to follow your instincts and allow time to explore. Just by framing a scene in a camera you’re influencing it.
Where does photojournalism at its best become art?
When you frame it.
To see more of Philip Lee Harvey’s work on Image Source click here,
Click here for his own website
As an extra treat, here’s a behind the scenes film from Philip’s trip to Venezuela.