Have camera, will travel

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Have camera, will travel

 

When I was in the Philippines, doing a tour through the Bacuit Archipelago by boat, I spoke to an American who did the same tour yesterday, but was now doing it again. He told me that he wanted to experience the islands without the frantic need to make pictures of everything, so this time he left his camera in his room. At the time I thought it was a commendable idea but it did not apply to me, not only because my time was limited, but because I believed that photography did not clash with my ability to enjoy my surroundings. In fact, take my camera away, and I would probably enjoy the islands less.

 

My believes came to the test in Peru. My bag got stolen and along with it my camera and more than two hundred pictures. The following day I traveled through the amazing landscape of the Andes, upset and all I could think of was: I wish I could make a picture of this.

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I would look around me, thinking what an amazing picture I could have made. Then I realized: I was ruining my experience. I asked myself if it would not be possible for me to simply enjoy what I was seeing. I pledged to myself that I would remember this moment.

 

How did it come to this, that my enjoyment of traveling had come to be so dependent on my camera? Why do I make pictures anyway? To impress the folks at home? A friend of mine never takes pictures during his travels. He says he would not enjoy his surroundings as much if he would take pictures all the time. While that may certainly be true for him, photography has ingrained itself into my artistic self (I would never claim that my pictures have an artistic merit, though).

 

For me, taking pictures started out as a way to concretize my appreciation of the sight before me. Architecture was the easiest target. Now I am venturing into nature and I can see human faces looming at the horizon. It became clear to me that I needed to rediscover the purpose of taking pictures. For me it was true: I would enjoy traveling more when taking photographs, for my artistic appreciation, for the curiosity of people at home and for my future memories.

 

One thing that strikes me is how strongly photography is connected with travel. It is understandable though: you see something new everyday when you travel. I once walked through the town I used to live in with a camera on me and I noticed tourists staring at me. Later that day there was even a woman that walked up to me to ask directions.

 

What are your experiences with travel photography?

junjunph says:
so many people love photography too! i'm one of them and it's our art to show to the whole world how wonderful our mother earth!
Posted on: Oct 02, 2009
iodized_96 says:
well said!!
Posted on: Sep 16, 2009
globalodyssey says:
nicely written
Posted on: Sep 15, 2009
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