Thursday, 21 May 2009

Response Essay 3 May 21,2009

Tourism and photography go hand in hand; I cannot imagine not taking pictures on a vacation, it would drive me crazy. In Steve Garlick’s article “Revealing the Unseen: Tourism, Art and Photography” he brings up some very valid and interesting points about tourism photography. Although he brings up valid points the dryness of the article makes very hard to read. I really enjoyed his views on why tourism photography is problematic, last summer I worked at Sea World and saw tons of tourists everyday, everyone of them always had a camera, where I think that tourism photography becomes a problem is when tourist taking excessive pictures bothers everyone else. One point he brought up in the article that I found was “‘to photograph is to appropriate the thing photographed. . . . It means putting oneself into a certain relation to the world that feels like knowledge – and, therefore, like power’.” When you take pictures on vacation you take pictures so that you can evoke the memories you’ve created while on vacation and like the quote says putting yourself into a picture makes you feel like you know what it is about and you are there and that knowledge is power. Another assertion the article made was how a photograph “conveys the appearance of participation in the situation –‘having a transforms a person into something active, a voyeur.’” If you think about what he is saying, when you go on vacation, having a camera has power over whether or not you remember the trip and who you show the pictures to.
When I am on vacation I take pictures simply because I love too. If I didn’t take pictures I would have to rely on someone else on the trip that did. I take pictures on vacation because I want to remember what I felt in the exact moment I took the picture, forever. I think that taking pictures on vacation is a ritual that is rarely broken, taking pictures can be a way to also keep love ones who didn’t come with you in the loop.
When I am taking picture I don’t focus on any one thing, if I like it I take a picture of it. Something I found interesting in the article was the piece on Nepal’s rules on taking pictures of locals, I agree with Garlick when he says that receive literature on respecting locals “can go some way into restoring the balance between the tourist and the cultural other.” When I am on vacation I take pictures of everything even locals, I heard once that some parts of Africa do not like their picture’s being taken because they feel like you are taking part of their soul away. When I am on trips I especially like group photos so you can always remember who you were there with. When I am at school and home however I tend to take fewer pictures, unless I am going somewhere special with my sorority, family or friends. I am always around my house and school so there isn’t much I need to remember for the time being.
After I take pictures I usually put them all on my computer and then Facebook. In today’s Facebook society you sort of expect to sign on and see all of you friend’s adventures and so in turn you want to share your adventures as well. Facebook is a great tool for keeping up with people’s lives and sharing pictures enables you to do that on an everyday basis.

1 comment:

  1. I didn't expect many to like the article, but it was mostly to get people to think a little about travel photography.