Put that Camera Away for a Minute

Photo Credit: Strandfotograaf

We are starting Week Three of our journey, and have moved out of the big city.  After checking out Rio’s urban beaches and other tourist attractions, we tried to escape the rainclouds by heading north.  We found ourselves on a pleasant 3-hour bus ride to Buzios—a small city that Lonely Planet describes as “The Hamptons of Rio.”

The description is dead on.  Decked-out condos line the shores of over twenty gorgeous beaches, and the downtown is complete with cobblestone pedestrian streets with strings of bikini shops, classy bars, and unique restaurants with tables out in the fresh air.  We found an awesome and cheap hostel that is so cozy it feels like living at a cottage.

From all this quiet beach and hammock time I’ve been getting this week, I’ve been having an interesting reoccurring thought about photography.

Firstly, I do love photography.  I love looking at incredible pictures that my good friends and even complete strangers have taken.  I enjoy taking photos and sharing my experiences with others in a visual way.  However, after living in Korea for so long, in a culture that is obsessed with photo shoots, I started to lose the connection to my experience because I was TOO concerned with taking pictures and “capturing the moment.”

After getting advice from friends and travel guides about safety in Brazil, I definitely pack less into my purse to lug around with me.  I’ve also limited the amount of time whipping out my camera at every photo worthy  moment, to avoid encounters with curious thieves (Luckily, no bad stories to report!).  Therefore, I have fewer photos than I normally would be snapping on this kind of trip.  But I’m getting used to it, and I’m really enjoying it.

For example, we went to visit the famous Christ Redeemer statue—-a 13-storey statue of Christ that sits atop a mountain overlooking Rio.  Unfortunately when we reached the top, the clouds were so bad, we couldn’t get a single glimpse of the city.  Instead, everyone stood gazing up at the top of the statue anxiously awaiting the clouds to move enough to allow us to snap the perfect photo.  We did that for a while, and luckily managed to get a few good snaps, but then soon after, we realized my camera couldn’t capture the grandness of this amazing piece of art and worship.

I put my camera away. I looked up.  We stood there in awe and took it all in.  It gave me a feeling that my photography skills could not capture.

Now here in Buzios, it could be easy to sit at the beach aiming the camera everywhere to get a postcard shot.  And yes, of course a few initial attempts were made.

But then, I put my camera away.  I just looked.  I looked at the ocean in front of me.  The giants rocks along the shore.  I closed my eyes and felt the sun on my skin.  I heard the crashing waves.  I smelled the salty air.  Again, not something I could grasp with my camera.

It has been an interesting development.  I saw it come out again today when I was unable to bring a camera with me and I just soaked it all in with my entire being.

This paradise is being very kind to us and we will stay for a bit longer before moving on to the next leg of our Brazilian chapter.  The people here, at the hostel and on the streets, are so friendly.  I feel quite at home here, and my mind is loving the opportunity to relax, think, and begin creating my Evil Plan.

One Response to Put that Camera Away for a Minute
  1. Ottawa to Oz
    March 22, 2011 | 8:53 pm

    I agree! The longer I live in Brisbane the more I revert to my pre-Oz ways of enjoying the moment and selfishly assuming others are taking more than enough photos to make up for my lack thereof.

    I also feel that the best shots I take are the quick ones in passing, the ones that when I look back on them seem to capture something a passerby may have missed. And like you said, it’s sometimes simply impossible to capture the beauty and experience of what you see!

    Enjoy your downtime 🙂

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Put that Camera Away for a Minute

Photo Credit: Strandfotograaf

We are starting Week Three of our journey, and have moved out of the big city.  After checking out Rio’s urban beaches and other tourist attractions, we tried to escape the rainclouds by heading north.  We found ourselves on a pleasant 3-hour bus ride to Buzios—a small city that Lonely Planet describes as “The Hamptons of Rio.”

The description is dead on.  Decked-out condos line the shores of over twenty gorgeous beaches, and the downtown is complete with cobblestone pedestrian streets with strings of bikini shops, classy bars, and unique restaurants with tables out in the fresh air.  We found an awesome and cheap hostel that is so cozy it feels like living at a cottage.

From all this quiet beach and hammock time I’ve been getting this week, I’ve been having an interesting reoccurring thought about photography.

Firstly, I do love photography.  I love looking at incredible pictures that my good friends and even complete strangers have taken.  I enjoy taking photos and sharing my experiences with others in a visual way.  However, after living in Korea for so long, in a culture that is obsessed with photo shoots, I started to lose the connection to my experience because I was TOO concerned with taking pictures and “capturing the moment.”

After getting advice from friends and travel guides about safety in Brazil, I definitely pack less into my purse to lug around with me.  I’ve also limited the amount of time whipping out my camera at every photo worthy  moment, to avoid encounters with curious thieves (Luckily, no bad stories to report!).  Therefore, I have fewer photos than I normally would be snapping on this kind of trip.  But I’m getting used to it, and I’m really enjoying it.

For example, we went to visit the famous Christ Redeemer statue—-a 13-storey statue of Christ that sits atop a mountain overlooking Rio.  Unfortunately when we reached the top, the clouds were so bad, we couldn’t get a single glimpse of the city.  Instead, everyone stood gazing up at the top of the statue anxiously awaiting the clouds to move enough to allow us to snap the perfect photo.  We did that for a while, and luckily managed to get a few good snaps, but then soon after, we realized my camera couldn’t capture the grandness of this amazing piece of art and worship.

I put my camera away. I looked up.  We stood there in awe and took it all in.  It gave me a feeling that my photography skills could not capture.

Now here in Buzios, it could be easy to sit at the beach aiming the camera everywhere to get a postcard shot.  And yes, of course a few initial attempts were made.

But then, I put my camera away.  I just looked.  I looked at the ocean in front of me.  The giants rocks along the shore.  I closed my eyes and felt the sun on my skin.  I heard the crashing waves.  I smelled the salty air.  Again, not something I could grasp with my camera.

It has been an interesting development.  I saw it come out again today when I was unable to bring a camera with me and I just soaked it all in with my entire being.

This paradise is being very kind to us and we will stay for a bit longer before moving on to the next leg of our Brazilian chapter.  The people here, at the hostel and on the streets, are so friendly.  I feel quite at home here, and my mind is loving the opportunity to relax, think, and begin creating my Evil Plan.

One Response to Put that Camera Away for a Minute
  1. Ottawa to Oz
    March 22, 2011 | 8:53 pm

    I agree! The longer I live in Brisbane the more I revert to my pre-Oz ways of enjoying the moment and selfishly assuming others are taking more than enough photos to make up for my lack thereof.

    I also feel that the best shots I take are the quick ones in passing, the ones that when I look back on them seem to capture something a passerby may have missed. And like you said, it’s sometimes simply impossible to capture the beauty and experience of what you see!

    Enjoy your downtime 🙂

Leave a Reply

Awards

Kristin’s Backpack won 1st Prize for TESL Ontario’s 2011 ESL Week Blog Contest.
About Me


Welcome to Kristin’s Backpack! I jumped on the blogging bandwagon in 2010 to share my Canadian-theatrical-backpacking perspective on my world adventures. With my return to Canada, I will continue to dig into my pockets and reflect on life as it has come to involve Teaching, Travel, and Theatre. Time to unzip the pockets!
Portfolios
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Kristin's Library
Looking for some interesting reading material? Check out my Reading Picks and Bookworm post for some ideas! 

               
This is what summer is all about- finished a book yesterday and am on to the next today.  I just opened The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill, which has been on my shelf for ages.  I have been extremely interested in reading accounts that stem from true stories in a dark history that is often swept to the side.  
At the same time, I have been listening to The Maze Runner series as an audio book and have been extremely captivated by the young characters’ circumstances and their view on the world.  
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