“When I travel, my camera is with me all day.” A Travel Chat with an Art Photographer.

by Janis on February 10, 2011

Traveler Interview:  Lynette Darling Ubel

 After working for two Kansas City advertising agencies, Lynette founded Ubel Design in 1989. 

Corporations and small businesses nationwide rely on Lynette, an award-winning art director, for their marketing, branding and book design needs.  

Lynette recently designed the book “Trust Your Next Shot”  by former Harlem Globetrotter Meadowlark Lemon.

In 2010, Lynette founded a second company, Ubel Images, which offers her fine art photography from around the world as decorative prints or canvases. 

 Published in 2010, Mirrors of Latitude is a 96-page coffee table book showcasing Lynette’s photography. 

  Forty of Lynette’s images have been exhibited in a 5-month, one woman show at the Blanden Memorial Art Museum in Iowa. The exhibit will travel next to the Central Exchange in Kansas City, Missouri March 4th through April 29th.

Lynette lives in Overland Park, Kansas, with her husband Doug, who works for a global company headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark. Several times a year Lynette accompanies Doug on his business travel, allowing her to capture the fabulous places reflected in her images.

We wanted to learn more about Lynette’s travels and the inspiration behind her breathtaking photography.

The Jones: What inspires you to travel? 

Lynette: The opportunity to see new things, try new foods, stay in all types of inns and go with the flow of different cultures.  

Travel helps “stretch” me out of my comfort zone on the days that Doug has to work and I am negotiating the city or countryside on my own.

Also, getting up each day with an empty disk on my camera in anticipation of the fabulous places we’ll see and images I might capture to share as art with others.

 Have you always enjoyed travel?  What contributed to your love of travel?   

Lynette:   I have always enjoyed travel.  My husband, Doug, has been the key to my love of international travel. He makes it easy, interesting and fun. All of the frequent flier miles he collects help make our trips possible.     

Doug took an engineering internship in Sweden while we were in college.  His experience that summer – I am convinced –  is what led him to seek out and be open to a career that has him traveling the globe.

His knowledge about things like reading train schedules, using foreign currency, respecting cultural differences, etc., means we make our own plans and travel with ease.

What is your favorite destination?  Why?     

Lynette: Prague, Czech Republic is one of my favorite cities. Prague was one of the least damaged cities in World War II so much of the architecture that you see is original.

The entire city appears to have a color scheme of rich red tile rooftops, oxidized green domes and yellow ocre stuccoed walls. With the rich warm colors we have found that our favorite time to visit is in the fall, when the trees echo the city colors. When walking down cobblestone alleys you will discover beautiful murals and art hidden away as a treat for only the most observant visitor.

Rooftops After The Storm, Prague, Czech Republic.

My images press people’s awareness of the present so the viewer can really SEE the simplest, often missed, beauty that we walk by on our way to “something greater”.

Even when I set out to see a sight as grand and familiar as the Arc de Triomphe, I remain observant of the window boxes and incidental beauty that calls out for my attention.

When I arrive at the “greater destination”, I challenge myself to see it in a new light or from a completely different angle than its typically seen. Sometimes this means getting up early for the spectacle of the moon just before sunrise or waiting out storms to capture the sun’s glory as it drenches colorful buildings.

What destination has surprised you the most, either good or bad?

Lynette: Iguazu Falls, in Argentina, was without a doubt the most spectacular natural wonder that I have ever seen. I was excited to go to Argentina and see Buenos Aires, the Mendoza wine region and Iguazu Falls, but none of those were on our “radar” for a top ten place to see before this trip.

We make notes in our book,  1,000 Places to See Before You Die, updated ed. (2010) (1,000 Before You Die)
and knew Iguazu was in there. I had heard it was a big version of Niagara Falls. But nothing prepared us for the massive volumes of water as far as the eye could see, the flocks of green parrots flying through the mist, the monkeys playing in the canopy and toucans eating palm berries before awkwardly flying off.

From your travels, do you have a practice or insight that makes your travel experiences more enjoyable?

Lynette: On each visit to a new country I travel as a guest first and a photographer second. I enjoy being amongst people who love their country and so appreciate that a visitor finds where they live fascinating.

I might plan each day, but am easily persuaded to alter that plan when a local  gives me a tip on what not to miss in their town.

The occasional rainy day is a given, so we bring things we need to be out in the rain and not miss a minute of exploration. Waiting out storms actually provides a perfect excuse to enjoy the cafes and shops, and get into  museums to learn the history of the great places that crisscross our globe.

At the end of the day I have collected fabulous memories and empowering experiences. Plus, images that are not only art, but reflections I hope will inspire others to journey and see for themselves what’s outside the framework of each photographic image.

All images are © Ubel Images and Lynette Ubel.  To view more of Lynette’s images, “like” Ubel Images on Facebook.

We enjoy learning about other people’s travel discoveries as much as making our own.         

What fuels your travel passion?  Please share in comments.

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