"A (wo)man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of (her)his life in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of beautiful God has implanted in the human soul."- Goethe

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Hong Kong Aviary

You may or may not know that I am crazy about birds. So, the best part of Hong Kong was the aviary I discovered in the city park. I was absolutely giddy when I came across this treasure trove of feathered goodness. Feast your eyes:

Doesn't that aviary look so snuggly inside the city park? I also glimpsed the most breathtaking golden pheasant, but decided to just watch it instead of breaking the spell by taking a photo. Because some things are just better when they are saved in my memory bank (not too much, though, because I can't hang onto everything in my head without a few reminders).

I had a dear friend once who preferred to not take photos for the same reason a lot of people do: so that he could concentrate on the sights, smells, sounds, textures and soak in all the details. He explained that it made experiences more meaningful for him and helped him be absolutely present in every moment.

I've tried to do the same throughout my life, and focus on fully appreciating my environment, wherever that may be. I've also studied several fascinating scholarly essays on the phenomenon of people's documentation habits and how instead of adding to the experience, such habits actually diminish the magnitude of the experience. (For example, if you are always seeing life through a camera lens, are you actually seeing it for yourself or is is just one more barrier between you and the experience?) And, I find it amusing (and sometimes sad) when I see people recreating a situation for the camera so that they can document it as if it were happening for the first time...you know what I'm talkin' about. Have you ever seen that happening?

That being said, I love art and photography. I think it's important to document personal journeys and art forms (which by nature are replicative) can actually help me pay attention to the small details that would have otherwise been missed if I weren't on the lookout. Time and a place. Time and a place.

So, dish. What's your opinion about documenting experiences?


  1. I'm a documenter. But, I try not to let it take away from the experience. I hate staged photos, but I try to snap candid pics here and there because I love to go back and relive the memories.

    I've actually preordered a wearable camera that will take a picture every 30 seconds. I'm excited to try it out. It could perhaps be the way to fully immerse yourself in the experience while also documenting it.

    1. I'd love you see you wear one of those google cameras they use to map out city streets.

    2. Me too! They have them now in a smaller size (They're still pretty big though.) They're letting people wear them in backpacks to create maps of hiking trails.