a camera-ready traveler

August 3rd, 2009

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.

One Response to “a camera-ready traveler”

  1. yukontodd says:

    Reminds me of a post I made in a geocaching entry a while ago. We were at the Carcross Dessert “The Smallest Dessert in the World”. It’s beautifully sculpted, and you can take your shoes off and walk through the sand in this freaky little dessert. While we were leaving, my Father in law sat in the sand to put his shoes on, just as a tourist bus pulled up. Some people got out and stood on the edge of the dessert, snapped pics “It’s nice to take your shoes off,” I prompted one shutterbug. “Yeah, I can see that!” she said cheerily. She didn’t take her shoes off.

    Everyone piled back into the bus, and off they went. Then Skip, admittedly a little slow, finished fastening his boots and stood up. How odd it seemed to me to rush to take pictures of someplace you’ve never actually been.

RSS feed for comments on this post. And trackBack URL.

Leave a Reply