lonely planet research images on flickr
Thanks to the fact that I now travel with a digital camera equipped with a massive memory card, I don’t have to think twice about shooting a photo when I’m on the road. I know I won’t have to pay for the film or the processing of course, and I’ve found that my photography has improved immensely because of this. It’s a surprisingly liberating feeling, not having to worry about whether or not it will eventually be worth fifty or sixty cents to capture the image I’m seeing in front of me on a square sheet of paper. I suppose I’m rather thrifty by nature, and when I look back at some of the travel snapshots I’ve taken with regular 35mm film cameras, it’s interesting to note how they’re somehow less inspiring and more obvious than my digital shots.
The first time I experimented with cheap photography was during a Baja trip that started just a few days before Y2K. I brought a plastic Kodak 110 camera with me – this is sort of elongated, rectangular camera found at toy stores and generally used by children. But because I knew the film and its processing were both so inexpensive, I never thought twice about capturing an image that caused me to instinctively raise my eyebrows, even if I wasn’t one-hundred percent sure what it was about the scene that attracted me. And while most of the shots that came out of that trip were either grainy or a bit fuzzy, many were quite good. One of my favorites is a close-up shot of the very top of a Volkswagen Beetle taxi – if I remember, the sign spelling out the word ‘taxi’ was built from old wooden letters, and from two or three different fonts. If I can dig up the photo once I’m back in Pittsburgh, I’ll scan it and post it here.
At any rate, I’ve recently posted a few dozen of my better photos from these past two weeks in Thailand on my Flickr page, and I’d love for you to flip through them. Please feel free to take a look here: www.flickr.com/photos/youngpioneers