During this trip I made a decision to not take photographs. The decision did have some external prompting, since I was using my iPhone as a camera and that was stolen.

The Reasons

Prefer living in moments to capturing them

Taking photos is a distraction from the thing I want to capture, fumbling around with a camera takes me out of the moment, particularly when I take photo upon photo of the same thing, searching for the perfect image. I'll always prefer a good memory over a tarnished memory and a visual representation of it.

Carrying fewer things

I really revel in the "lightness" of carrying fewer things. Cameras are not neccessarily heavy, particularly if you use a compact or a mobile phone. However I still enjoy the simplicity of carrying just a water bottle and a few snacks whilst out on a trek, or being able to easily walk with all of my stuff when traveling between towns.

Photographs are not representative

The photos I take would only be the good parts, the outstanding views, beautiful architecture, the magical things; the everyday life and the bad parts would be omitted and under represented, leaving the photographs as a window on a perversely curated "best of" edition of the trip.


Photographs are memories

No they're not.

Ok, but they do invoke memories

Alright, that is true. On my last travels a few years ago I took a lot of photos and I have never really looked back through them. But this point is probably the cause of the most unease about my decision, I like to think that my memories alone are enough but I'm not sure about that yet.

Don't other people want to see what I've seen?

I guess so, probably. I will still write about places I go and the things I see. If it's important enough for someone to see the things I've seen then I suggest google image search (seriously! What I see is hardly unseen or unique to me), if more than that is needed then they can always take this trip themself.

You'll take some pictures though, right?

Maybe. There might be an occasional picture uploaded to Facebook or Twitter, of some food, or some new friends I meet.


I like to experiment with things in my life and this decision is just another experiement, I've been living it for a few weeks and feeling happy with the progress so far, I can see it becoming permanent.