Biggsy Travels

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Look with your eyes and not your tech

Recently on Mashable I saw this apt photo from back in 2015 that showed an old lady leaning on the barriers, simply enjoying a red carpet premiere in Boston without straining to see the celebs via a little digital iPhone screen. The other people in the picture are smiling too so seem to be having fun but if a video/picture is so important at such an event then simply trawl through Twitter/Instagram afterwards and you’re bound to find a better photo/video than you could have taken yourself anyway!

Boston Globe old lady photo

Boston Globe photo. Image: John Blanding/Boston Globe/Getty Image

More recently at a U2 concert last week I realised that not enough of us simply “look” at what we’re looking at! Instead, we’re trying to view it through a 4″ iPhone/Samsung screen or a DLSR viewfinder, often recording videos we’re never going to watch again anyway. And yes I realise that I used my iPhone/DSLR to take the three photos below 😉

So at the U2 concert I mostly saw arms holding up smartphone screens when I’d rather have had a clear site of Bono and The Edge instead.

U2 concert view at Twickenham

U2 concert view at Twickenham

Now that’s two examples of event photography where I feel it’s better to see with your eyes and store some memories forever. The shots below you could argue are of inamimate objects so maybe take a few snaps and THEN give yourself time to look with your eyes! … without fretting about the composition, whether you should shoot it landcape, portrait or square?, on your DLSR or iPhone or both?, and what tags you’ll use on which Social Media! Take a read of my other post about being too busy travel blogging to enjoy the moment.

Here we are in Pisa on a balmy summer’s evening simply enjoying the tower … once I’d taken this DSLR shot on a 10 second timer.

Staring up to the top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa

Staring up to the top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa

… and in wonderfully beautiful Cinque Terre looking over to the iconic picture postcard view of Manarola from across the bay. Check out my post about the best photo locations in Cinque Terre.

The walkway below Nessun Dorma and the lovely view back to Manarola

A couple simply enjoying the lovely view back to Manarola

So next time you’re on holiday, of course, take some photos but make sure you take time to “look with your eyes” as well! You never know, you might actually find it quite refreshing! 🙂


  1. A very poignant article in this day and age Steve. Funnily enough I had a friend (sadly passed away now) who for a lifetime had lived and worked all around the world, the interesting thing is he never once took a camera with him. He was quite content to simply take it all in. I think I’m getting the same way which is strange. Before, when travelling with a film camera, I would take load of pics even though film and particularly developing could be quite expensive. Nowadays, with digital and the facility to reel off hundreds of snaps, with minimal cost, I’m taking a lot fewer – is there a moral here ?

    • Thanks Ben! Yes on my trip to Pisa/Cinque Terre/Florence last month I took over 1,500 photos. Back in film days I might have taken 2x 36 at most! What made me realise was travelling with someone who didn’t take many photos (about 30) and the fact they had to stop every few minutes while I took mine. So next time less will be more and I won’t be so infatuated with my camera

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