When a Photo Just Won’t Do

Cameras are awesome inventions! I love them. I love photography, love videography, love saving a beautiful image of things I come across. But no matter how many shots I take, there are hundreds more I wish I took but was limited by my gadgets. From a visual artist’s perspective, I want to return to these places and try again to get the perfect shot. But from my experienced traveler’s perspective, I’m glad I haven’t captured everything, because no matter how much any of us try to capture the world by camera, it never compares to the experience of actually being there.

When I think back on some of the most magical things I’ve experienced on the road, I was unable to capture them anyway. Lots of reasons cause this. My video camera battery died, the lighting was  too dark, I wasn’t prepared for underwater shots, or I simply left my gadgets behind. But nevertheless, incredible moments occurred — special, one-time moments meant to be saved in my memory only.

I’ve come to realize that many experiences are best seen with my naked eye rather than through an extra lens. A picture wouldn’t have done them justice anyway.

Here’s just a few exciting things I’ve seen in the last two months that I could not capture but hold the special moment in my mind:

  • an octopus as it came out of hiding, walked the sea floor eight feet, and then transformed back into its coral disguise
  • a 6-foot wide leatherback turtle as it laid eggs on a beach in Panama
  • the uproar of a pack of coyotes in the distance while on a night hike
  • the energy of locals and tourists alike enjoying outdoor activities at Boston Commons
  • the flavor of a mouthwatering mole prepared from the on-site ingredients of a cacao farm

Catskills

Livin’ in the moment

Last week I went to the Catskills of New York for a business retreat at Mohonk Mountain Resort (an incredible event and beautiful resort!). In my spare time, I took advantage of the amazing surroundings at my fingertips. The crisp mountain air on a hike, the sound of my paddle board slicing over the water’s surface, the vibrant summer sky that a camera can’t quite capture without filters and editing, and the aroma of lavender in the garden.

On returning home, this photo on the right is one of the only shots I came home with (a shockingly low amount, if you know how snap happy I tend to be). But I’m so glad I kept the camera at bay. I feel like I experienced the place so much more by being present.

That’s something I recommend for you, too. Take time to put the camera away and just experience. Watch. Feel. Inhale. Listen. Savor.

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