Which type of traveller are you: the one that lives in the moment or the one that takes photos to save the moment? Recently, our sweet reader, Tiffany sent me a link to Joshua's article. Balazs and I couldn't stop talking about it for days, and I'd like to know your thoughts on it too.
Joshua is a writer who doesn't take photos during vacations. He loves photography, but he recently came to the conclusion that he prefers to enjoy the experience for what it is, instead of saving a memory of it. He explains that he only takes photos of experiences that he enjoyed first, and if an unobtrusive opportunity arises to snap a single photo, then he does.
Here are his reasons for the change:
"We all want to capture the moment. We desire to preserve it forever, salvaging the beauty of everything we see. So we grab our cell phones, our digital cameras, and SNAP! We take a few photos to safeguard our memories. Sounds harmless, right? I mean, look around, everyone’s doing it. You can’t go to a monument or a concert or even a sunset without scads of pedestrians fiddling with their electronics, trying to save and share the experience.
There seems to be two problems with this incessant picture-taking behaviour, and I myself have been an accomplice to said problem for way too long.
First, by fumbling around with my device, looking for the best angle and filter, snapping the picture, viewing the picture, and then often retaking the shot in an effort to get the “right” photo, I’m missing the actual moment. My desire to capture the moment actually ruins the moment. It makes it less beautiful, less real, and in many ways less photo-worthy.
Second, the “result” is artificial. Time doesn’t happen in this kind of take-and-retake way. We don’t get to re-do the experiences of our lives. And yet we take our pictures as if we can “get it just right.” It gives us a false sense of security, a sense that we can not only change the moment, but somehow save only its best parts. The fact of the matter is that the best parts exist because of the worst parts, not despite them. We cannot enjoy life’s mountains without its valleys."
Makes sense doesn't it? I think it's not about snapping photos of those little moments, it's about how many we do. Plus, it's important to remember to actually allow ourselves to be part of that experience instead of just capturing it. What's your take on it?
P.S: One life to live.
P.P.S: How to have a great life full of simple pleasures.
(Photo via Another Passenger. Article via The Minimalists)