Panama Jack-Travel Photographer

Part 1 of 3

A couple years back, I was hired by Tropic Star Lodge, a world-class offshore fishing resort, located in Pinas Bay, 150 miles South of Panama City, literally, 100 miles from the nearest road.

It was an amazing assignment in every respect-lifestyle, food, culture, and architecture.

I authored all content on my iPhone 12 Pro Max, which, at the time, was the best money could buy.

At the end of the shoot, the client flew me, in a small, private plane, to Panama City, where I spent 3 days in Casco Antiguo, also known as Casco Viejo, or the “Old Quarter”, in Panama’s City’s historic district. Considered a UNESCO Cultural World Heritage Site, the district dates back to 1673 and features vibrant plazas and picturesque brick-paved streets surrounded by colorful buildings.

Last night, while looking feverishly for a particular shot for a client, I stumbled across a small cache of photos, from my time in the “Old Quarter”, that I never edited or shared.

This tiny collection was a treasure trove of remarkableness and memorableness for me.

“To me, travel photography is a celebration of serendipity, where every click of the shutter reveals unexpected beauty and hidden treasures.” – Art Wolfe

I thought it would be both fun and entertaining, over the next 3 posts, while the imagery is fresh on my mind and heart, to show you three different hats I tend to wear, while traveling and working, as an iPhone photographer.

It would be easy, but misleading, to tell you that on every assignment, whether personal or commercial, I go about my business of photography in exactly the same way?

The same way? Are you fucking kidding me? It’s never the same way. Like ever.

Sometimes my photography is as simple as a calm, still lake.

Other times it’s as complicated as Einsteins theory of relativity, but, is still, a beautiful mess.

No matter what camera I’m using, where in the world I’m shooting, who I’m with, and what my state or frame of mind is, you can count on my photography being a celebrated and storied mix of memoir, gospel, diary, history, field notes, autobiography, family, art, and science.

And while my approach to location photography is as, emotionally and creatively, varied and diverse as the places I visit, by the time I land, I generally have a mental game plan of what my mission, mandates, and motivations for the shoot are.

First up-Panama Jack, Travel Photographer

A travel photographer is a professional photographer who specializes in capturing images related to travel and tourism. They explore various destinations, both domestically and internationally, to document and showcase the beauty, culture, landscapes, people, and experiences of different places.

Travel photographers aim to create compelling and visually stunning photographs that evoke a sense of wanderlust and inspire others to explore the world. They often work for travel magazines, websites, tourism boards, or travel companies, providing captivating imagery to promote tourism and enhance the appeal of specific destinations.

“Travel photography is a passport to the soul of the world, a visual diary that captures the essence of diverse cultures and untamed landscapes.” – Steve McCurry

When I am wearing the hat of “Travel Photographer”, as these humble photos reflect, I tend to use more wide-angle lenses. Ie. (.5X/13mm, 1X/24-26MM))

Mostly, with wide glass, I can create a sense of context, a “wishing you were here” moment and memory.

The “spirit of place” refers to the intangible essence or unique character of a particular location. In the context of travel photography, capturing the spirit of place means going beyond mere visual documentation and aiming to convey the distinct atmosphere, mood, and soul of a destination.

Ultimately, the quest for the spirit of place in travel photography is about capturing the intangible qualities that make a destination special and showcasing its unique identity through imagery. It requires a sensitive and empathetic approach to storytelling and an ability to translate the emotions and experiences of being in that place into compelling visual narratives.

“Travel photography is not merely about taking pictures; it’s about immersing yourself in the moment, absorbing the world with all your senses, and letting the images speak for themselves.” – David duChemin



Jack Hollingsworth