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Someone once told me that a photographer is a professional people watcher. I think that a good people watcher also makes a good traveler.

In 2010, during my first 4 months of serious traveling abroad, I spent a lot of time in museums, cathedrals, and art galleries. I toured in haste, like most other travelers on a set schedule. Those months tired me out. While I had been to a lot of places, I felt that I saw very little. When I decided combined my methods as a photographer with my ways as a traveler, I happily traded busy sightseeing for people watching. I finally realized that the best way to understand a place is to observe its people.

While in Oslo, I made sure to document little details as well as obvious tourist sights. Just when I thought I had seen enough of Norway’s capital, seeing Oslo as a photographer allowed me to uncover more of the city’s quirks and beauties.

This article originally appeared on Just-In-Time Travels. Get in touch with the author @tracyzhangphoto.