Wednesday, July 05, 2006


Just something I noticed last week in Vienna....

We were sitting outside having yummy Banana Mocha Frappacino's at Starbucks just opposite my favourite Viennese fountain at Michaelerplatz. I'm learning to really observe life, to watch, to experience, and to take it all in. I love to sit and just be. To watch people, to observe the birds, to study the world as it passes by my life.

And what happens?

An elderly man walks by with a magnificent, large camera hung around his neck. He spots my favourite fountain in Vienna and without stopping he lifts his camera and shoots a photo. CLICK. Just like that. One handed. He didn't stop walking, he didn't really look at the fountain. It made me sad. Would he go home and load his photos on his pc and even know where he'd been and what he'd seen along the way? Is that what photography is? Is that what life is? How about taking time, making time, and really seeing. Open our eyes and observe life, absorb it. Then when you get back to your desk and look at your photos or your day, you will remember the experience, you will recall the sounds, the smells, the light, the breeze.

A photo is much more than a snapshot.

"The camera is an instrument that teaches people to see without a camera."
Dorothea Lange


Mindy O'Neall said...

Just stopping by but realize I came across your blog for a reason. My mother is finishing her first trip from Alaska tomorrow, and all throughout the week, she has done the same thing. Click. Click. Ok- keep going. I'm sure with any travelling you do, there is a little of that, but to really experience what you are a taking a picture of is so much better when they pop up on the PC. I look forward to checking in with your travels.

swissmiss said...

I envy your travels - would you believe after five years in Switzerland I haven't been to Vienna yet? (My husband has a bit of the traditional Swiss in him and it's hard to get him to go East young man.)

I'm generally a slow traveller too, although I've had my days of seeing a billion sites on one day because I was running out of time or something. As long as those days are exceptions and don't become a habit of mind I think it's okay. But I see these tour groups in Bern all the time who hit all the "highlights" in about three hours and then it's back on the bus and I think that's such a shame.

And now that my Small Boy has just started walking, he is doing an excellent job of teaching me to slow down and look.

Ginnie said...

This is such a soulful post, of course, Kim. I don't know if I could ever be a click-as-you-walk-by photographer but I definitely sometimes feel I click away without having the time to be still and absorb it all--while on those 3-hour tours! BUT, my soul longs for the time to stop and smell the coffee, so I hope that counts! I was definitely able to sit and absorb the nuances of our lake and cottage this past weekend. It makes all the difference in the world, doesn't it!

Anonymous said...

When I first visited the Louvre in Paris, back in 1994, I witnessed something similar, that I will never forget: An American couple doing the fastest run through the Louvre that anyone could ever imagine. She had the guidebook and he had the camera and they ran (no fast walking, they ran for their lives) from object to object, he shouted: "What is this, is it famous?", she looked it up in the guidebook (while still running) and if it was deemed famous enough, they snapped a picture of it, before running further. I wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry, actually, but opted for the first alternative...

Turtle Guy said...

Gargoils... haven't seen many of them in these parts! Thanks for keeping in touch - I haven't been around much, so I appreciate you're dropping in to say hello!

Ed said...


Hi, I was actually in Vienna as well last week! How weird is that.

I just wanted again to say thanks for everything to you and Peter, it was so kind, I'm really so thankful.

I'm back in Zagreb now, ready to enjoy the summer here until I go to the coast for a bit before returning to England in September.

Thanks so much again. I'll post some photos from Tirana on my blog soon.

Take care,

Kim/Thomas said...

that'd be my dad! he collects photos, and will just shoot shoot shoot, I'm like, will you just look and examine what you are taking?? He says..i'll look later, thats why, I'm taking them now....I just rub my head and say, ayayayaya!!!!

glad you're having soo much fun! :) I miss to chat with you, how is the maniac doggie?? abusing any stuffed animals lately?? ;) hehehe