Posted by: Waheeda Harris | April 25, 2012

Can a destination be postcard perfect?

Remember when postcards would be the fastest way to share where you’ve travelled?

I loved getting them as a kid and sending them. I’d put them on my corkboard in my bedroom, dreaming of the places that showed up in my mailbox, where friends or family had visited.

So when I started travelling on my own, I did start sending postcards. But I admit, I don’t think about them very often anymore. I look at them and think of the past, but I rarely make the effort to send one these days.

But the influence of postcards is still with me, and as a photographer looking to learn every time I take a photo when travelling, I realize the style of postcard photography has definitely influenced me.

As I looked at photos I took from Elbow Cay’s Tahiti Beach, this image of an empty beach with leaning palm trees and blue water seemed just like an idyllic postcard, which is probably why I did take the photo. I think we’re all trying to get that perfect image, especially at beaches, with few or no people, the trees at the right angle, the colour of the ocean and the whiteness of the sand.

But I’ve realized sometimes you need a person or people to give a sense of the place. At Tahiti Beach there were several people walking, exploring and building some sandcastles, but from this shot it looks like the classic desert island. I specifically turned my lens away from the people to get the image of endless beach, wanting to see this image in comparison with the ones with people.

And even though my Canon camera has helped me get some awesome shots, I do think the real place isn’t absolutely captured in this image – you’ll never know the softness of the sand or the warmth of the water – yet the destination is postcard perfect.

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