This NY Times story is about Paris, not India, but it got me thinking, particularly because I’m leaving for Delhi tomorrow and people I talk to keep saying, “Take lots of pictures!”
I always find that when I get home I look at my pictures, and when I see museum or zoo or other display pictures I always wonder, “Why did I take a picture of that?” It’s an animal in a cage, or a painting on a wall. It doesn’t really say anything about the experience I’m having. It’s not a picture I couldn’t have just looked up online, if I wanted to see what an orangutan or an O’Keeffe looked like.
The impulse to take pictures in museums makes sense; especially if you paid a fee to bring in a camera, you feel like you ought to get your money’s worth. And you might be feeling guilty about not taking as many pictures for all the people who told you to take lots of pictures. Of course, there’s no risk in this picture, no possibility that some person in the background wouldn’t want to be photographed, or that the scene will change as you’re getting your camera ready. It’s an easy shot. So you take it.
Which leads me to a resolution for this trip: no pictures in museums. If there’s a museum with displays I want to see, I’ll take the time to see them. But the flip side is another resolution: more pictures outside of museums. More people, more actions, more smiles, more memories.