Monthly Archives: August 2014

Photo Obsession

While I was visiting Australia’s Red Centre a few weeks ago, there were stretches around the base of Uluru where you are asked not to take photos. This is because the land is sacred to the Aboriginal people and it’s sort of like scripture, and is meant to be viewed in its original location. It struck me that our culture (What does that even mean? Who is “our”? I don’t know!!) is obsessed with photographs. When I take a step back, the hordes of people all with their cameras up do look a little silly.

I'm also guilty of taking plenty of photos... (At Uluru)

I’m also guilty of taking plenty of photos… (At Uluru)

During the very long bus ride back to Alice Springs (the Australian desert is massive!), all I could think about were photos, and why we take them. Should we take them? Is it good or bad? Does it matter? I thought of a few reasons why we take photographs:

  • Vanity, and as trophies to show off.
  • To garner more likes and popularity on social media.
  • To remember experiences.
  • To fit into a culture which is inundated with photos; everyone has pictures, they’re in ads and in the media, shouldn’t you also have some?
  • To make art.
  • For fun.

I’m sure there are a bazillion other reasons, and if you can think of some, please post them in the comments.  Then I thought of some reasons why photos might be considered as a bad thing:

  • They can be obtrusive, for example if you’re in someone’s way.
  • You are not getting the full experience by viewing through a camera screen.
  • In food pictures, you may be holding up the restaurant and your food may get cold.
  • It can be disrespectful if you’re taking a picture of something someone doesn’t want you to.
  • On one of our tours in Australia one fellow was taking gratuitous pictures of the bus, and it nearly left without him.

I was talking to a friend of mine about it, and she said, “If someone wants to take pictures, I’m not going to hate them for it. And I don’t buy into the whole idea that if you don’t put your phone away you’re going to have an incomplete life experience.”

Overall, I’ve come to the conclusion that although some reasons for taking pictures may not be as “noble” as others, as long as you aren’t being obnoxious to someone else when you are taking photos, it’s okay. It’s not illegal for you to want to have some nice looking photos of yourself, or to show your peers or colleagues what an awesome vacation you had. Taking pictures is not really a good thing or a bad thing. It’s just a choice for a person to make.


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Return from Oz

Hello there! ISo far this summer I’ve been taking a break from blogging because I wanted to stop thinking of how to turn my life into a text post for a while. I just got back from a family trip to Australia, which was AMAZING. The whole experience was unforgettable and just, wow. What a beautiful country.

A few of my favourite parts:

  • The World Harp Congress in Sydney –  This was, in fact the reason for us going to Australia. It was inspiring and I learned a TON. Hoping my new practicing skills will give me an edge this year.
  • The Penguin Parade – We went to an island near Melbourne and saw hundreds of little penguins waddle right past us, out of the water and into their burrows on land. Magical.
  • A wild cockatoo landed on my shoulder – We were at a place were you could feed them and there were about four of them on me at one point.
  • The outback – We saw Uluru, Kata Tjuta, and Kings Canyon. The red desert is so beautiful, and I got to learn a lot about the aboriginal culture, which was my favourite part of the outback. One thing I thought was interesting was that there were very few plants in the desert, but nearly all of them were very powerful and nourishing, whereas in the rainforest there were tons of plants but most of them would kill you if you tried to eat them.
  • Snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef – I did not expect snorkelling to be as crazily beautiful as it was. I just stuck my face in the water, and BAM I can see clearly through the water and there’s fish and coral right there, and hey that fish is like ten centimetres away from me. WOW. At one point our guide led us through a shallow area and I started drifting and the coral seemed about a foot away from me and I swear if I moved any of my limbs I would have wrecked EVERYTHING if the guide hadn’t come and towed me away. That was a bit scary. But gosh, coral is so beautiful. It makes me so sad that worldwide it is dying due to climate change.

This summer has been a restful one. I decided not to work because of my long-ish trip, which I’m okay with because it meant during my last real summer vacation ever I got lots of time to relax and have fun.

Now that I’ve bragged enough about my summer, how was yours? Let me know in the comments. :)

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