Travelling is all about gaining new experiences and seeking new environment’s to gain a wider knowledge of other regions on our planet. Every man and his dog has a camera these days presented in different formats from your standard digital camera to SLR cameras to camera phones and i-pads. In most cases these are the first thing we ensure we have packed before travelling abroad, and they are one of a few items that we take out with us on our day-to-day adventures. The problem with cameras is that they seem to get in the way of our day-to-day activities. Everybody seems to have the urge to take a picture of just about everything they see, rather than savour the moment with their own eyes.
It’s fair to say that some people spend their entire holiday looking through the viewfinder of a camera rather than with their own eyes. In many respects people are more interested about going home with a few good images representing their holiday rather than experiencing the holiday at the time for what it is. Not long ago I was on a boat trip in Namibia and we were being followed by a pod of dolphins riding the crest of waves behind our boat. I spent the whole time looking through the viewfinder of my camera trying to capture the perfect image of the dolphin’s instead of enjoying the experience for what it ultimately was, and that was the experience of a lifetime, I never did really get the perfect shot I so desperately wanted.
If we’re not careful we could all find ourselves in a situation where getting the perfect picture takes priority over the experience, where does it end? When you travel on safari these days all you see is hundreds of tourists all peering down their camera lenses at the animal in front of them rather than just sitting back and savouring the moment of being in the presence of such a wonderful creature. Although technology is positive in most ways, this certainly doesn’t seem to be a great indication of things to come. There seems to be so much pressure these days for people to get great pictures to impress their friends and families back home that half of the holiday is spent trying to get yourself into a scenario where creating this picture is possible.
There was once a time when taking a camera on holiday wasn’t important and it was all about the experience instead. These times seem to have come and gone and the future certainly doesn’t look promising judging by today’s standards and people actions whilst on holiday. With almost everyone having access to a camera these days competition between people to get the best picture is always going to be rife and until there is a fundamental change, photography over the experience of a holiday seems to be the way it’s heading.