Over three decades, Traveler magazine has undergone dramatic changes to reflect where, how, and why we travel. In 1984, we sought out the sights; now we want unique experiences. We traveled to vacation; now we want to be transformed. In the past 30 years, we’ve shot more than 3.4 million photos and published some 36,000. Here we celebrate our anniversary through the camera lens, offering a chronicle of changing times.

Travel photography is, on the surface, a very simple endeavor. Go to a faraway place, stand in front of something you can’t see at home, and take a picture. What’s so hard about that? Well, that may well be the recipe for generations of boring family albums. Find out how to up your photography game when you’re exploring the world by joining @NatGeoTravel’s Dan Westergren for a live photo workshop at 1 p.m. ET on Thursday, October 2.

Amy Toensing, an American photojournalist committed to telling stories with sensitivity and depth, is known for her intimate essays about the lives of ordinary people. A regular contributor to National Geographic and National Geographic Traveler magazines, Toensing’s assignments have taken her all around the world, from the Jersey Shore to the remote jungles of Papua New Guinea. Here’s a look at the world through this award-winning photographer’s unique lens.

A National Geographic Traveler editor goes behind the lens with photo legend Steve McCurry.

Have you ever wondered what makes an award-winning photograph? Here’s your chance to find out. Join the judges of the 2014 Traveler Photo Contest for a Google+ Hangout On Air, and get the inside scoop on how they chose this year’s winners (they’ll be announced at the end of July!) from more than 18,000 submissions.

Photos can be a wonderful way of sharing meaningful experiences with others, but I worry that my attempts to document the moment make being present in it a challenge. Does photography support awareness of my immediate experience, or detract from it?

Joel Sartore is, among other things, a lifelong Nebraskan, an Eagle Scout, and a veteran photographer for National Geographic magazine. He’s also someone who cares deeply about the fate of our planet, and the species that depend on it, including us. Here’s a look at the world and all that’s in it through Joel Sartore’s unique lens.

This year’s National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest is winding down. So far, the entries have been surprising and stunning, but the winners are far from being chosen.

The June 30 deadline is fast approaching, but there’s still time to throw your hat in the ring. Here’s how to enter–and what you could win.

Dan Westergren is the director of photography for National Geographic Traveler. Though he had an early affinity for black and white photography, being responsible for a travel magazine’s photographic vision means Dan is, in his words, “surrounded by a rainbow riot of color digital images” on a daily basis. Beyond his exceptional eye for editing,…

If you approach America’s national parks like a nature photographer, not only will you get memorable images, but also you’ll experience the parks at their inspiring best. Here’s how.

Washington, D.C.’s famous cherry trees are in full bloom, and Nat Geo Travel took you there in real time with Dan Westergren, the head of photography for Traveler magazine, leading the way. During the Google Hangout On Air, Dan went down to one of the District’s most photogenic spots–the Tidal Basin–to capture this world-class capital city in…

When you work at National Geographic, one of the first questions people ask is if you get to travel. The answer is often yes, but one of the best parts of the job is being surrounded by sharp, globe-trotting people, and getting to hear their stories. That’s why we asked folks on National Geographic’s Travel team to share a story about the best trip they’ve taken in the past year with our Intelligent Travel readers.

The 26th annual National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest is winding down. The magazine will be awarding seriously spectacular prizes this year, so don’t miss your chance to win. Enter today!

When you’ve traveled very far and weather conditions aren’t what you were expecting, you can’t pack up your camera and go home. As frustrating as bad weather can be, you can end up with images that are far more special than anything you could have captured had the weather been “good.” Here are five tips to get you started.

Here at National Geographic Travel, we like to celebrate and explore new destinations and rediscover the classics. And with hundreds of thousands of cities in the world, there’s always something new to learn. That’s why we started our popular I Heart My City series, where locals share insider intelligence about the places they know and love best.

Now we’re asking you to show us your city–the people, places, and moments that make it unique–through your own travel lens. Participate in the I Heart My City YourShot photo assignment for a chance to be featured on the Nat Geo Travel website. The deadline to submit your photos is on Monday, February 17.

Go on assignment with Nat Geo Travel’s director of photography Dan Westergren in the charming mountain town of Whitefish, Montana, and get real-time tips about how to get the shot…in the snow. Join Dan and other Nat Geo Travel staffers back in D.C. for a Google Hangout On Air on Monday, February 10.

Pete McBride has been adding a flash of panache to Traveler for roughly 15 years. “He brings the whole package to the magazine, ” says Director of Photography Dan Westergren. Though McBride started off making his name as a photographer, he has the literary chops to handle both text and images for feature stories–which is rare. And, as Dan notes, he has something else going for him: “the curiosity to find out what makes the world tick.” Here’s a small peek into the life and times of Pete McBride.

Traveler contributing photographers Cotton Coulson and Sisse Brimberg have been part of the National Geographic family for years. Most recently, the husband-and-wife duo photographed “Danish Modern,” which ran in the magazine’s November 2013 issue. Here’s a brief look at the creative couple and their singular view of the world.

National Geographic Traveler’s director of photography, Dan Westergren, has the distinct pleasure (and sometimes pain) of choosing which photographs run in the magazine. The award-winning photographers assigned to our stories come back from the field with such a rich variety of images that it can be hard, if not impossible, to make the final cut. So we asked…

At the dawn of digital photography, professional cameras maintained the look and bulk of the 35mm film cameras that photographers had been using for a generation. But, because digital sensors were expensive to make, these cameras were equipped with a sensor that was approximately a third smaller than the 24×36 mm dimension of the 35mm…

I often fantasize about heading out the door with just one camera hanging around my neck. But when I go on the road to take pictures for Traveler that’s not really possible. Because I’m supposed to get great photos no matter what, I often need to rely on different lenses to make a situation look more photogenic than it might in real life. But there are benefits to traveling light when you’re out making pictures.

When can you call yourself a “professional” photographer? Is it when you buy an expensive camera, sell a picture, or get published? No one seems to agree.

National Geographic Travel invited photographers from Canada, Germany, and France to join us in Toronto’s reinvented Distillery District with a simple goal in mind: to show how different photographic personalities capture the essence of a place in pictures — and to share the experience with the world in real time via Google Hangouts on Air.

Are Filters the Answer?

Reader Question: Are lens filters still necessary for digital photography? Are there filters that National Geographic photographers use to make their pictures look better?

How to Photograph Kids

Photographing kids can be challenging. Here are a few tricks to make it easier.