My first day in Reykjavik, I went overboard taking pictures and used up my camera battery. Back at my hotel, I went to charge it and discovered that the charger was not working. Frustrated but not deterred, I tracked down a local camera store and went to buy a new charger. But they were all out of what I needed. Now I was concerned. I had one full battery left, but 5 more days in Iceland. The country is ridiculously photogenic, and I was looking forward to practicing my photography skills on this trip. What was I going to do now?
I decided I had to be conservative with my pictures, and limited myself to 5 pictures at each attraction. I had a wide angle lens to take in the sweeping scenic shots, and figured that any for close up or sillier shots, such as food or quirky signs, I would use my iPhone.
As I explored, I found that by taking a few pictures and then putting away my camera, I was actually enjoying my trip even more. Instead of seeing Iceland through a viewfinder or my playback screen, I could take in the stunning views while everyone around me was clicking away. I noticed little things, like the variations in the color of the ice next to the hot springs, or the sound the geyser makes as it bursts into the sky. I watched other people, and enjoyed seeing what they were photographing. I had time to wander or sit for a while and take in the majesty of the landscape, rather than frantically taking shots of every square inch and then racing to catch up with my tour group.
Like anyone else likely reading this, our love of travel is often combined with a love of photography. You want to document every incredible moment of your adventures. Yet we can get so consumed with getting the perfect shot that we risk failing to appreciate what we're seeing. I knew this, and yet was still guilty of doing it. It wasn't until I was forced to put my camera away that I got it.