Sep 172010
A criminal in front of a computer screen

Keeping my word. Appropriated from This is what I look like without a helmet on.

We don’t have a single picture from our own expeditions. We never take a camera with us. We don’t click. Now there’s nothing we can show off.

Until recently Umut has only appreciated heavyweight traditional photography techniques – whenever he wanted to document an image or an event, he had to carry a few kilograms of multiple camera bodies and lenses. All this equipment, combined with a bike, was just too bulky and eventually we had no  choice but to give it up.

We’ve been considering digital cameras for some time, one that would be reasonably priced and sized, but everything seems to be cheaper in the States, where neither we nor our friends are planning to go in the near future and we are not sure if we want to shop online, what with the tax and other charges… So we’ll continue to think about it.

For the time being we try draw consolation from the fact that not-taking-and-having-pictures has certain benefits:

First of all, we are faster. It’s not that we really care about doing as many kilometres as possible in the shortest possible time – I’m not that fit and it’s against our preferred approach to travelling, which consists in the unhurried savouring of each passing metre.

Please note – having promised to come up with some advantages of being camera- and photo-free I’m doing my best to be true to my word.

Some time ago, while travelling in Cappadocia, I wasn’t sure which route to take and asked some locals for advice:

– Do you think that we could go along this valley (my finger points to a place on the map), reach this spot and come back here before the sunset?
– Well, it depends on whether you have a camera with you and how many pictures you like to take…

So it’s as simple as that – no camera and no photos means we are able to see more with our own eyes.

Then, we don’t have to pick and choose among thousands of jpgs or pngs, thinking hard which ones illustrate our story best. And I don’t have to cry over the pics that we had to leave over – sadly, we wouldn’t be able to present them all to the whole world. Also, no need to worry about the fact that I don’t look good in photos – you just don’t exist in non-existant photos.

Finally, the most compelling argument – the Web abounds in extremely appealing other people’s shots, whose authors have uploaded them with the blessing for whoever is going to take advantage, as they don’t want their work to be wasted. These are the photos we are going to appropriate because we can’t deny that a blog without photos seems to be absolutely pointless.

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