The Eye of the Tourist

I am not a tourist. Yet I travel to a lot of the places where tourists travel to. I have been to the Taj Mahal, to the Eiffel Tower, to the Empire State building. There is a reason why the Great Wall of China is one of the most visited tourist attractions in China. These places are beautifully created and worth visiting.

But, and there is always a but, you can now often not see the site without people in the way, people with cameras or smart phones out to capture what you, as someone who might have travelled hundreds of miles, or even thousands to see. Gone are the days of exploring hidden deserted temples.

The Eye of the Tourist looks at how travelling has changed in the modern era. How the photograph of a famous location void of tourists is no longer reality and how the modern tourist has made their stamp over every possible iconic site. In this series I look at tourists in different environments, how they impact them as well embracing them and how even I, who asserts that I am a traveller is still in fact, a tourist.

Looking over the Great Wall of China. This was taken far past where the wall had been restored and past where the majority of tourists walked to.

A single CCTV Camera watches the mountains. At the Zhangjiajie National Forest Park.

Long exposure at the Musee de Orsay.

Boat guides wait to take tourists round the water town of Qibao.

Tourists in the That desert, India.

A boat of visitors to the giant Buddha in Leshan.

Self Portrait, NYC.

Tourists in China.

Tourists at Sintra, Portugal.

A man photographs the Taj Mahal. There is a certain spot where people wait to capture the quintessential photograph of the Taj.

Tourism in China has boomed with the middle classes being able to afford to travel. Tourists compete to get the best photograph.

Watching the sunrise over the Himalayas at Dharma Sala, India.

My shadow at the Huanglong Nation Park, Sichuan, China.

Tourist photographing a statue in Hong Kong, China.

Tourists at the Hanging Monastery,

My shadow in India.

Tourists having a break, India.

On one of the national holidays in China I climbed Hua Shan, one of the mountains near Xian overnight to get to the top for sunrise. I did this with a few thousand other Chinese people and reaching the top I discovered a large crowd. This is just before the sun came up.

A foreign tourist during the climb back down from Hua Shan, the path was so crowded you could barely move.

Man gazing at a piece of art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC.

Self Portrait, Oxford, UK.

A tourist reviews his photo’s while having a break.

Filming of dancers at the Elephant festival in Jaipur, India.

Tourists on an elephant ride up to the Amber Fort near Jaipur. You can either take the elephant or walk up to the Fort.

Shadow at Lijang, China.