One Thousand Words: Obsessive Compulsive Photography Disorder

It was a beautiful day on Nantucket.  I was on a super-informative walking tour (post to come) learning all about the history of the island.  We were standing at the corner of Adorable Cobblestone Street and Quaint Cobblestone Lane, listening to my tour guide tell me something educational.  I was paying attention–I swear.  That is, until I spied this bicycle across the way.  It was just sitting there, being picturesque, little Nantucket basket and all.  And the little puddle in front of it–the one you can barely see in this photo–was reflecting both the bike and the American flag far behind it.

All I wanted to do was walk away from the small group and lay down on my stomach in the middle of the street and try to get a good puddle reflection shot.  I completely stopped listening to our guide for a good two minutes as I stood there and longed for the ability to do just that.  But alas, as our group was only comprised of four people including myself and the tour guide (a great thing for a tour but not a great thing for briefly escaping a tour) It was not to be.

I took this one shot from far away, cropped it, and sighed.  Next time puddle.  Next time.

I’ve always taken photos while traveling, but since I got my first ‘real’ camera and sort-of taught myself to use it (though I have it on no-flash auto far too often) the way I look at travel has completely changed.  I could spend a whole day in a new city or town just walking around taking pictures–and some days, that’s just what I do.

In fact, just today–as I researched possible summer 2013 trips–I wondered how different my Paris trip would have been had I visited after the onset of my obsessive compulsive photography disorder.  I mean, I’m not wondering enough to rent another apartment on Rue Saint Martin.  But still.  I wondered.  And that’s still saying something.

Many travelers shudder at the suggestion shutter speed.  And to be fair, there are many justifications for leaving the camera at home–it takes you out of the moment, many people say.  It makes you look like a tourist, still others remark.  It’s a hassle, a pain in the neck (literally), and a waste of time (after all, what are you going to do with all of those photos, anyway?  Assuming, of course, that you don’t have a travel blog.  Or a Facebook page.  Or walls and frames.)  While all of those people are welcome to their opinion–and while all of those downsides are valid–I still won’t ever leave home without my camera.  It is the only travel companion I need.

And next time I’m walking away from the group, getting down on the ground, and taking that puddle photo.  Yes.  Yes I am.


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