Preserving your travel memories: photography
One of the best parts of traveling is the visual stimulation of being in a completely new place. Taking photographs is always fun in such a fresh and unknown environment. But if we’re engaged in any sort of activity that requires others to be a participant, and photography often involves the agreement of others, it’s important to keep in mind a few rules.
- No matter whether you shoot film or digital, try to be discreet.
- Don’t shove your camera lens in the face of someone who is praying or worshiping or even having a private moment.
- Get a clear sign that they don’t mind their photo being taken, or
- If you cannot obtain their permission and you decide to take the shot, make it a wider shot so they would not necessarily know you were focused on them.
- Ensure you are allowed to take photographs in sacred areas or buildings. If in doubt, ask someone.
Remember, there are many ways of using a camera, but it’s sometimes better to miss the shot than offend someone. I have missed a million photographs but I still carry them with me – on the walls of my mind.
“If a picture is worth a thousand words, the reverse is also true.”
Also, please don’t:
- Ham it up for the camera with in appropriate poses and positions in front of sacred places or monuments – be respectful and mindful at all times.
- Take photographs if it says ‘no photographs’.
- Take photographs of people worshiping or praying unless you have their permission beforehand.
- Take photographs if people want to be paid for it, unless they are ‘dressed up for tourist photographs’ and then you must pay them if they pose for you.
- Photograph every single iconic tourist destination you visit – buy the postcard instead, as the images are often taken by professionals who need to make a living and the pictures could quite possibly be better, particularly if the light’s bad on the day!
If a picture is worth a thousand words, the reverse is also true. Write down in lucid prose your impressions and feelings about a place. Your journal can become your sketchbook – who says a drawing plus a paragraph or a few lines isn’t as good as a photograph?
Be inspired with your photography and it will enhance your journal and your travel writing. See our article on blogging for new ways to document your worldly travels.