There is a beautiful scene in front of our eyes. What we do next ? Enjoy the moment ? No. We take out our smart phone and capture it. When I recently visited Brindavan Gardens in Mysore and saw the musical fountains, that was my instant reaction as well. But then I resisted my reflexes and put my phone back in my pocket. I saw every one around me having their smartphones in video mode, trying hard to find a perfect view angle in a crowded gathering. They were trying to be ahead of each other to get rid of obstructions during recording process. It was a competition going on and half of them were not able to focus on what was being displayed in front of them. After stopping myself from recording the video, a wave of calmness hand entered inside. I was able to actually enjoy the musical show.
The atmosphere was electrifying. There were hundreds of people around me and cheering on every change of color or change of song. In an open ground under sky where surroundings were quite dark, we were looking at water fountain displaying beautiful colors. I could see happy faces, school going kids clapping and hear lots of wows. I would have missed these if I was recording the musical show. I do not have any picture or video of that show but I am happy with myself.
Few months back, I came across an article stating the same thing. We are capturing so many photos, but in the process forgetting the fun. Most of photos we clicked are lying in albums on Facebook, Dropbox or hard drives. We don’t get time to see them later because the count of photos have reached in thousands. After reading that article, I had decided to cut down the clicks I make on travels. On my last trip to Mysore/Coorg, I purposefully captured much less photos. Don’t get me wrong and I love to take photos just like everyone else. I also want to have photographs with my friends/family on the places I visit. But I am striving to strike a balance between being at the moment and saving the moment.
A fellow traveler once said that photos/video of places we visit are available online easily. So instead of recording a video of say fountain or show, you can watch it on you-tube. Hence cut down a bit on your photography time and spend that time on actually seeing the place Of-course for professional photographers this is not applicable as they have to get every possible angle. Also if someone is experimenting on learning photography, one needs to experiment a lot. But for a regular tourist, those many clicks may not be necessary. Less number of photos means less time to process/maintain them. Yes, we capture hundreds of photos everyday but think for a moment – are all of them good shots or lots of shots taken carelessly because memory of your camera is not a restriction.
Also a friend has a habit to clean up and filter out the photos from a trip to a count of 60 so that next time he doesn’t need to browse through hundreds to see few good ones. That’s a difficult task to do but a good exercise for long-term maintenance. The idea is to think about which photos are actually worth taking because in today’s times of photo storms, its easy to lose track of photos which are a couple of years old.
The smart phone cameras are much easier to take out than the digital cameras and thus are good for quick screen capture. So take photos of your dear and near ones, record an activity that you like at a new place, but sometimes keep the phone in your pocket, relax and just watch the show. It will be a refreshing experience.