Thursday, May 12, 2016

Saying no cheese

I never travel without my camera. A big bag with the camera gear, the camera, three different kinds of lenses, two batteries, a charger, a dozen SD cards, etc., my camera bag was always overflowing. When I drove, it sat in the passenger's seat. When I flew, it became the carry-on bag. When I walked, it made my shoulders bend on one side. And I took pictures too. Big time. Of the nature. Of people and monuments. Portraits of friends eating at restaurants. Close-up of the food I ordered. I took an average of a hundred pictures a day during every trip.

And then, I decided to take a break. I decided to sometimes take my camera, but sometimes leave it behind too. Earlier this year when I visited Washington, I walked by the river and enjoyed this beautiful city without a camera. Next, I went to Florida. The city with breathtaking ocean views, ships, sunrise by the Atlantic, and picturesque beaches. Without a camera. During another trip, I walked around Washington DC, visited the monuments, and ate dinner with a lot of friends. Then in Baltimore, we walked by the Inner Harbor in the evening. The weather was fantastic, the crowd energized on a Friday night. Since I did not have a camera, I did not feel the need to take pictures.

It has been strangely liberating. Once in a while, I saw something beautiful and instinctively reached out for my camera, which was not there. It made me want to pause and spend a few extra minutes taking things in, etching it all in my memory since there will never be documentation of it. Meeting old and new friends and eating at some great restaurants, walking in the city, but not leaving behind a trail of documentation has been a freeing experience. If I could just cut down my camera expeditions by 50%, and this will free up gigabytes of online storage for me.
Perhaps attachment minus bondage is what gives an ultimate freeing experience.


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