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A Thousand Pictures Do Not Tell A Story

Popularity 4Viewed 10965 times 2013-11-30 14:04 |System category:Life| photography, travel, friends, photos

Recently, a friend of mine got back from a trip to Europe. We ordered our coffees and as she took out her iPad, I eagerly awaited seeing a handful of interesting shots from Spain, France, Switzerland . . . Two hours later and we had only hit the three-quarter mark of those photos. She had literally taken thousands! I stumbled out of the café irritably with a headache and bleary eyes.

When I got home I looked at my own stack of travel photos. Yes, I too am guilty of shooting far too many snaps - I rolled my eyes at myself and asked why the hell did I need five photos of the same mountain? But here's the crucial difference - when I post photos on my Facebook or if I go out for coffee with a friend to talk about my trip, I whittle down my hoard of photos down to a comprehensible level. But still, in my opinion, a hundred or so photos is still too much.

It's great that we can take a photo now, look at it and delete it if it's terrible, but this freedom comes with a flipside. It also means we can take multiple photos and just keep shooting without thinking of the quality of our shoot. After all, it costs nothing to delete a photo so why not take as many as possible? It also seems that there is this pressure to capture everything about a place visited, almost as if we are trying to say we were actually here and look at what an awesome, amazing time we are having.

I feel this pressure as do many people. However, after looking over my travel shots with a critical eye, I have realised that most of them aren't meaningful at all nor do they capture the heart of the place I was visiting.

Here's my plan - I am going to buy a polaroid camera. Polaroids are not cheap and you can't just waste away an afternoon taking five thousand photos of a building with them. But you can take one shot of something and, pretty or not, it is your photo of it. It is raw and real and worth a million of those digitally altered photos. Another idea would be to buy a much smaller memory card so that it's not possible to take a billion photos, forcing you to be more selective with your shots.

The benefit of this is that you'll actually see the place you have gone too. I remember being on The Great Wall and feeling really angry at myself for feeling so compelled to take photo after photo, when really I just wanted to take one or two and then explore the rest with my eyes.


(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)




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Reply Report AroundTheWrldK8 2013-12-6 08:50
luchengcat: oh , honour to be replied by u
Haha! Thanks  

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