I miss travelling.
I fall in love with places and I tend to come back often. I care about them. I feel hurt when I read about illegal logging in a forest where I used to walk as a teenager. My heart beats faster when I see a photo of a city street where I’ve lived something that stayed with me. An old square where I took a coffee early in the morning, watching the sunrise. A place where I’ve left part of me.
There are different ways of travelling.
There’s travelling to see and travelling to be seen. There’s travelling to live and travelling to show.
The first is about discovering and losing yourself in what you’re discovering. It is about trying to become part of the scene without altering it. Staying low key, watching, letting things happen.
The second is about affirming yourself wherever you go. Making your mark, letting people know where you are and what you think about that. It’s about imposing yourself on whatever is happening.
These ways of travelling (and of being) are also reflected in photography.
The first one would correspond to the type of photography in which the photographer remains a discreet presence behind the camera. The focus is on what is going on, on the situation, on the story. The story says something about me as photographer, because it’s MY way of telling the story. But the focus stays on the story, not on myself.
The second one emphasizes the photographer at the expense of what is going on. The photographer can either be physically present in the pictures (the selfie maniac) or compose the photos so that they bring the attention back to him/her.
There is a difference between doing photography as a continuous ego-affirming exercise and doing it for the sake of showing / documenting / honoring what is out there. We lose sight of this difference too easily.