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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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!

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.

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,ย 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! ๐Ÿ™‚

All those great trips you went on pre-social media

If you’re a travel blogger in your late 30s and beyond you possibly rue all those amazing trips you had in the 90s/early “noughties” that you couldn’t blog/Instagram/Tweet about as social media didn’t exist back then!

Me with some Hula girls in Hawaii

Me with some Hula girls in back in 2002

I hadn’t really considered this until I stumbled across a photo album back at my parent’s house and a trip I took to Hawaii via Los Angeles back in 2002. It’s a red coloured, sturdy bound album containing 100 6×4 glossy photos held neatly in little see-through pockets. It was rather nostalgic having something tangible to hand that I could actually see and hold, rather than finding a random memory stick at the back of a drawer that’s now obsolete anyway as you’ve updated your laptop a few times since you last inserted it. Either way this was a trip I’d love to go on now as it would allow me to blog/Instagram/Tweet about it to my heart’s content.

At the top of Diamond Head in Oahu Hawaii

At the top of Diamond Head in Oahu Hawaii

It made we think about some recent well-written articles, published by young 20-something bloggers, that might giveย the impression they were the first travel bloggers to properly explore such destinations. Possibly because of there being few existing posts about certain places? Well kind of “yes” as we weren’t technically travel bloggers back then when we visited, but kind of “no” as lots of us have been to these places over the last 20 years, it’s just we didn’t have the opportunity to tell a wider audience at the time.

Learning to surf on Waikiki Beach

Learning to surf on Waikiki Beach

So with that in mind I’ve cherrypicked four photos from my trip to Hawaii that I would have loved to have blogged/Instagramed/Tweeted about back in 2002 if only I’d had the tools to do so. My two week trip started out on the famous beaches of Oahu, moved onto the active volcanoes of the Big Island, before ending on the mountainous and quite spectacular island of Maui. The highlight for me was learning to surf on Waikiki Beach and driving a 4.0 liter automatic Jeep along Maui’s famous Hana Highway. It’s just very scary to think that I did this over 15 years ago now!

Driving a 4 litre Jeep around Maui

Driving a 4 litre Jeep around Maui

What wonderful trips have you been on before social media came along?