I got into Kathmandu last night. The travel wasn't as terrible as I'd expected. That is a whole different post though. I am mentally forcing myself to let this trip be about the internal experiences and not about my overwhelming urges to be a National Geographic photographer. There is no agenda for today, since it is technically a travel day. I got in a day early however, so I have some free time. I went out this morning and started to take in the sites and sounds of Kathmandu, and this seemed a great time to get some of my photographic urges out. The following are my thoughts on how I want to photograph this trip.
For years I have wrestled with this back and forth set of thoughts on photography in travel. In the "for" camp, photography is at the core of what I do so how can I not spend my time traveling taking photos of what I'm seeing? In the "against" camp is the fact that every second set composing a shot, hiding behind a lens, and reviewing that shot is a moment of actual life that passes by unacknowledged. I feel like the universe drove this point home when I lost all my memory cards in travel here.
The balance I've struck with myself is as follows: I am going to shoot this trip like a film photographer. That means the following:
1) No burst shooting mode. I have a few reasons for this. Burst shooting will take up precious memory with basically the same shot. It would also encourage me to click away without thinking. I am going to try to fit the entire trip on one memory card, telling myself that it is esentially rolls of film and I'm very limited.
2) Limit my lens selections. I brought a lot lenses, naturally. However, a great way to waste time and increase worry is to constantly change lenses. I am keeping two handy: 70-200 2.8 L, and a 3rd party fish eye.
3) Minimal time composing and no throw away shots. This is all about making the best use of my time. It is tempting to photograph every stupa I see and every prayer wheel. I am instead going to focus on living in the moment and shooting only if something organically comes into my mind as being a shot I want. I may take some throw away or touristy shots with my phone, just for keep sake.