Travel and Photo

I’ve been back from Israel for almost a week now, and the jet lag has yet to subside, but it was totally worth it! The trip was incredible. The history, the food, the scenery, but most important of all, my sisters! We make good travel companions after all.

It’s good to be back home, even if I’m not super excited about being back at work. Knowing that photo school is 10 weeks away is exhilarating and agonizing all at once – so close and yet so far!

I have many, many Israel stories to tell (photos included, of course!), but I think I will do so in subsequent posts. This one is about something I’ve been questioned on before by multiple people: taking photographs while traveling. Almost everyone does it, but a subset of the population is not in favor, and running into people of this opinion has led me to some interesting debates, and made me realize why I am an unabashed supporter of vacation photo taking.

The anti-travel photo people say that if you hide behind a lens the whole time, you are not truly experiencing a place.

To that I say, um, no, not for me.

Instead, photographing while traveling enhances my travel experience. Seeking out photographically worthy sites and angles makes me look at my surroundings with a more alert, discerning eye. If I’m looking for what would make a good photo, I am truly paying attention to where I am.

Like this window in Tsfat, the city where the Jewish mystical practice of Kabbalah got started:

If I wasn’t actively looking for photographic opportunities as we walked around the city, I very easily could have overlooked these exquisite shutters, the way the green popped against the stone wall. I notice much more about my surroundings when I’m considering photographing them.

Another reason I’m pro-photographing on vacation is simple memory-making! I don’t know about your memory, but mine is not as good as it once was and seems to be getting worse all the time. Without photos, who knows what I’d remember a year later? And I know I’d want to remember things like this:

Sisters on Mt. Bental in the Golan Heights, overlooking Syria

So, as long as you’re not constantly goading your travel buddies to pose in front of monuments (though that can be fun, too), I say huzzah to vacation photography and whatever else makes your travels more enjoyable!

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Filed under Israel, Personal, Travel

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