Now out on DVD, the movie 2 Days in Paris is full of hilarious observations, most of them about relationships, but there was one that really stuck with me, as a travel and photography buff. Early in the movie, Julie Delpy's character Marion discusses a problem with Adam Goldberg's (Jack's) camera. Relentlessly taking photos, Jack didn't seem to be an excessive photographer — that's what you do on vacation, isn't it?
But Marion's argument was enlightening: by constantly taking photos, you're taking yourself out of the situation. By only seeing your surroundings through a lens, are you really seeing it all? When you're just thinking about capturing an image of what you did so you can show someone later, you're there, instead of your actual "there." You're removed from the experience. To see what I think of this, just read more.
While I doubt that I'll take far fewer photographs on a trip, Marion's monologue struck me. I do think that I've gotten caught up in what my photos will look like, and I've known many people to visit a place just to say that they were there. The trick is to be able to experience, and savor — and balance that with getting some great shots.