The Necessity to Photograph While Traveling

November 6th, 2009 by | Country: France | 4 Comments »

This blog post is a response to a tweet by @Journeywoman who wrote a tweet recently:

“JW Tip of Day Put your camera down for a while. Now you can create travel memories in your mind.”

I am going to copy and paste a comment that I wrote on Greenheart Travel’s blog entry on why it is perhaps viable to put the camera down.

I have a little different thought as a college student who is studying photography at an art university. I actually find that photography allows me to appreciate even more what I’m seeing surrounding me because it allows me to stop where I am situated and think and stare at the space for several moments. As an artist, I don’t just stand there and snap a shot. I stand at the spot for several seconds and think about how the space means to me. As I’m thinking, I think about how I exactly want to shoot the photos, which includes where do I exactly want to shoot and what composition. On top of that, since I use an SLR camera, I also have to think about the technical aspects such as the aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. When I think about the technical aspect, I have to think about if I want the background to be blurry or sharp and if I want to see blurred motion or frozen motion. So, all of these decisions play an important role to what message am I trying to tell the viewers.


Then, when I come home and see the pictures, I always feel as if I’m reliving through the memories. I can definitely tell you that I’m always going through my blog archives just to pretend that I’m living through the moment again as I feel that I can step inside the picture. In fact, sometimes I never realize how grand many of the places are until I see the pictures!


Another thing – Photography allows me to meet new people because I absolutely love doing documentary photography. So, when I photograph people, not only I take a snapshot of them, but also, I always try to communicate with them to learn more about their life and culture, and of course, if the country is speaking a foreign language, it gives me the opportunity to practice speaking in its language! I always think of my camera as a tool to broaden my vision of the world surrounding me.

Another food for thought – because one of my main goals as a travel photographer is to capture the culture and the lifestyle of the locals, I need to venture beyond the tourist spots and visit the places where the locals live. So, photography is giving me a way to motivate me to venture the off beat tracks.


November 6, 2009 at 4:24 pm

I love the look of your new blog site! You make some great points about the positives of capturing the moment with your camera, and I think your photos are fantastic because you appreciate your surroundings and the understand the big picture as far as respect for the culture and setting. Safe travels; it’s always wonderful to read about your adventures and enjoy your pictures.

November 7, 2009 at 10:34 am

I think you can do both, and should. On our recent trip through France for the first time I very consciously tried to “photograph” scenes in my mind. They remain fresh, and with them the surroundings, the sounds, the feel of the Mistral and the companions.
But it’s also good to have dozens of photos, including those on my screensaver, as a consistent reminder of our best-ever trip .. until the next one!


November 8, 2009 at 8:41 pm


Very good thoughts! I agree that we can certainly do both as it’s also critical to “record” the memories of the sounds and the feelings.

Greenheart Travel – thank you for your comment!

November 9, 2009 at 7:06 pm

Social comments and analytics for this post…

This post was mentioned on Twitter by RachelChaikof: I disagree. RT @journeywoman Put your camera down for a while. Now you can create travel memories in your mind….

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