Everyone has a camera these days. Millions of photos are posted on instagram and facebook everyday. Some people take snap shots of their meals, some document their travels with selfies. You could come to the conclusion that all this photographic activity dissolves the value of a photograph. I am here to argue that there is still such great value in photography as an action and as an end product.
We have all seen the people on holiday with their selfie sticks attached to their phones. Serious photographers find it difficult to understand, but there is value in this activity. It is nothing new. Self portraits are as old as photography itself. We have just changed the level of convenience. The value of tourist selfies is the same as any portrait or travel documentary shot. It is a record. It is communication. It is telling your folks back home that you are safe on your travels. It is reminding your older self how young and free you once were.
Often on our tours, people will photograph their plate before they eat. The aim isn’t to sell the photo back to the restaurant for the menu. It is merely an aspect of travel photography. Cuisine is just as much a part of travel as landscapes.
The importance of Nature photography
The act of photography is also very important. Photography is a healing activity and there has been much reported benefits of photography helping people with depression or other mental health issues. The act of taking photos helps the troubled mind by activating creative visual areas of the brain. Simply put – this gives the troubled vocal areas a rest. Much like meditation, photography puts you in the present moment. Away from the depression of the past and the anxiety of the future.
It’s all very well taking photos for therapy, but we have to make a living as well. Sales and marketing campaigns are often driven by photography. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Any sales professional will tell you that they usually don’t even have a 1000 words. Twitter campaigns have to say everything in around 20 words. Social media has created a short attention span culture, so a photograph can be a very useful advertising tool.