Vacation Photos

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These pictures embody my ideal for vacation. The location is a backdrop for featuring interesting things and people. They don’t have to be weird – but it helps.

First and foremost, I LOVE pictures. I have gigabytes.

I enjoy even vacation photos for places I’ve never been. They are interesting. People should share and post more of them, more often.

Having said that, the modern age has given us the internet. No longer are we tied to large books in libraries and bookstores. If I have an urge to see pictures of the Vatican, even from 9 different angles I can go to Flickr or use google images to find pictures of nothing else but my interests. Usually in extremely high resolution. It is rare to find a personal picture that someone has taken that doesn’t have one hundred equivalents already in books or on the internet.

Part of my point is that I have no emotional connection to the photos I’m searching and looking at. They are high quality, technical and convey exactly what they are supposed to.

2009 10 las vegas (8)The above picture is of the Bellagio Resort in Las Vegas. It was a great experience feeling the cool mist of the fountains, hear the roar of the jets, listening to the “oohs” and “ahhs” of the onlookers. But this picture is almost meaningless outside the framework of my personal experience – and it almost certainly won’t hold value once I’ve passed on.

On the other hand, if a friend or family member takes enough time to post pictures online, I am going to look at them, probably more closely than most people will. Some part of me thinks that the time spent posting them means they might be worthwhile.

However, I am usually disappointed to find a lot of vacation pictures containing no people, much less people I know. Stunning vistas and landmarks are indeed eye-catching and interesting, but only in a minimal way compared to looking at familiar people within that framework. It establishes a connection between me and the places they have visited.

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Las Vegas, The Mirage as a backdrop.  Everyone knows “where” it was taken, but also can have an emotional connection to the person in it.

Let’s be honest. Pictures can and do distort our appearance. Usually, though, it’s not the camera we are lamenting – it is our perception of self. Allowing this to get between us and great vacation pictures is just not the same. Most vacations pictures should have people in them. It catalogs a place and time, how a person looks, their dress, demeanor, etc. It tells a story.

I’d prefer lesser-quality pictures if they contain people I know.  Everyone wants to see pictures of their friends and loved ones enjoying their lives. They already know what we look like, alleged warts and bad hair.

When the winter of your life is upon you, you will wish you have taken more pictures of yourself, your friends, family and loved ones. Even while on vacation. Pictures taken but not shared and enjoyed are missing part of their value.

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I took this one to remind me of the ongoing and perpetual work in progress that we experience in Vegas. The construction in the background, the high voltage lines that one “forgets” that are there to keep the city going 24 hours a day. (You literally can’t visit the same Vegas twice…)

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The above picture is one of my friend and taxi driver in Cancun, Mexico, from one of the 2 trips I made there. At the end of the vacation, he offered to have me return and actually stay with his family. He enjoyed the tips, of course, but he also enjoyed my crazy Spanish and sense of humor. Unfortunately, I’ve forgotten his name and no longer have the journal from my trip. But I will never forget how joyful he was doing his job and his sense of humor and appreciation for tourists. He was a rarity – one that I found to be more memorable than the sunrise vistas so commonly associated with trips to Mexico. The person trumped the scenery.

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The last picture is one of the scenery from the resort beach. It’s low quality, taken with a point-and-shoot film camera. I took a lot of pictures, most of which I no longer have. But this grainy image allows me to remember the coffee, the smell of sand and salt, as well as the sense of adventure in other places. Almost all the pictures I kept are ones featuring people.