Do photos capture the essence of travel, or ruin it?

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Editor’s note: Pictures just never seem to capture what I am seeing in my mind. I can’t remember how many times I have witnessed something truly magical, exquisitely beautiful or joyful, and reached for my camera to capture the moment forever.

Then, when I looked at the image later, it was a big let down, and nothing at all like I remembered it. It was even worse back in the era of having to develop film and wait weeks for the pictures to arrive.

I used to carry a big bulky 35mm camera with me wherever I went. It was heavy to lug around an airport, or take to an interview, and I only wound up taking a handful of pictures. So, when cell phones started including high-definition cameras, I ditched the camera. But, even then, the smartphone images never really captured what I had seen in my mind.

In this article, blogger Zat Rana, reveals his frustration with trying to capture travel images while delving into a broader topic regarding the real reason for travel.

From the bloggers at Medium:

A couple of years ago, I decided to stop taking photographs. I’ve never been one to hold on to physical possessions. It only felt right, then, that I rid myself the escape of digital ones, too.

Our memories are both the most prominent and the most subtle manifestations of our mind. They are the bedrock that we build our identity on. Sometimes, they are as clear as day, bringing back thoughts and smells and sounds with the slightest provocation.

Other times, even the most vivid of signs can’t seem to remind us of what we are looking for. The only consistent thing about them, it seems, is that they are inconsistent.

I don’t miss taking photographs. While, yes, the decision was first made because I felt like I was cheating myself out of pure, unadulterated presence in every great moment, I now realize that there was another benefit: My memories of my travels are no longer dominated by loose connotations associated with frozen images; instead, the highlight reel plays itself.

What I remember from each trip is what actually meant the most in each moment, not what I artificially captured and then reflected on.

The full story is available at Medium.com.

Greg Gerber

Greg Gerber

A journalist who has covered the recreation vehicle industry since January 2000, Greg Gerber founded RV Daily Report on April Fool's Day in 2009. He also serves as the editor of the publication and website. As an Eagle Scout, he has enjoyed camping for decades and has visited every state except Hawaii. A DODO -- Dad of Daughters Only -- to three young women, he has two grandchildren as well. He currently splits his time between Wisconsin, Texas and Arizona. Greg can be reached at editor@rvdailyreport.com.

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