As a daily selfie taker and one who can't live without snapping a photo every few seconds, I'm naturally quite interested in photography. Every time I travel, I take many many more photos than when I'm at home. NEWT 2016 afforded me an opportunity to compare my own photos with those taken by others. There are thousands of photos in total and one thing is clear to me – although I take a lot of photos, most of my photos aren't really all that great.
It's very easy for me to blame it on the quality of my camera which is the idiot-proof automatic kind but there are many in NEWT who don't use the DSLR camera either and yet they take great photos. Richard, Ian, John and many others don't use the DSLR and yet there is something about their photos that seems lacking in mine.
I now know what it is. I haven't got an eye for a good photo opportunity. Sometimes when I see one of them taking a pic, I take the same pic but when I look at both pics, mine somehow isn't quite there. It's that 'blindness' in me that makes my wife sometimes quite mad with me – I don't seem to notice many things around me. It's like when we enter a restaurant and I don't notice friends who are seated in it but my wife whose range of vision seems to extend beyond the outer extremities of my normal visual range is able to spot them immediately. I've examined other people's photos very carefully. They just seem to know how to get their photos right from the angle they take the pics and what photographers call the 'composition' of the photo.
There are many excellent photographers in NEWT and there is no space in this short write-up to mention them all. Yesterday I showed a few photos taken by Jacques Marie and Pascal to my wife and kids and they were particularly stunned by the beauty of the scenery as captured in these photos. As my wife rightly pointed out, my own photos are huge in quantity but small in quality. Some of the photos taken by Jacques Marie and Pascal seem to have been taken from a height and one gets to see the entire valley and all the mountains and in the distance, one sees a line of naturists hiking in the sun and oh my God! – that's me in the red cap right smack in the midst of such an incredibly beautiful scene.
One of my kids then made the suggestion that I should buy a Phantom drone. That will be unbeatable. Taking pics that show the mountains, the valley and all of us hikers would be a cinch if I used a drone. It would be like having a mechanical Jacques and Pascal up in the sky snapping pics – any selfie-addict's dream. But I dismissed the idea completely. If I want to use the drone, I need to check on the laws of the different countries regarding this. I need to know if there are military installations nearby and I certainly don't want to end up in an Austrian prison. And it's really not practical. A drone is quite heavy and bulky and I can't imagine lugging it around with me when I prefer to travel light. It's certainly not suitable for the kind of hiking that we do. A drone drains up its power very quickly and I'll end up carrying it around more than flying it. It's absolutely out of the question.
I suppose in the final analysis, there is no need for a drone. If my pics don't look good, there are at least 30 other people whose pics look much better. And besides, my pics only don't look good when they are compared with other people's pics. By themselves, they are impressive enough. And all I've to do is to be on the lookout for good photo opportunities. And honestly, when you're on the Alps, even a badly taken photo looks stunning.