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Leaving the camera behind

There are reasons — honest, there are.

Airport opportunities

A year or so ago I went on a trip to spend several days with my mom. I’ve learned over the years that it’s OK to leave my camera at home for these trips because we don’t really go out much. I’ll be the first one to tell you that there are ALWAYS, ALWAYS photo opportunities, no matter where you are. There are. I generally live by that statement. These trips are no different.

Airports offer up a gazillion opportunities! (Check out Levi Sim and his #airportphotowalk hashtag!)

My favorite place to shoot at Terminal 3, O’Hare in the morning.
Dallas-Ft. Worth Airport

At your destination

I decided to record a few things along the way with my phone. You know, the best camera I had with me. The thing about the phone camera is that you can get into places you might not be able to with a larger camera, giving you better angles and better compositions. It can be very freeing and allow you to let go of the perfectionist in you (yes, you…I know as a photographer you have that in you). Take fun shots, shoot from the car, don’t worry about it being an amazing shot. Just shoot. You’ll be amazed at how freeing this is and how creative you can get.

It also got me paying more attention to details around my mom’s home. Memories that have been shared. Family heirlooms and keepsakes.

The crazy squirrel lamp.
Mom through a glass orb.

I also spent a few hours at the local library branch so I could get some work done. You know what was there? Photo ops! (Of course! Oh…and books, lots of books!)

No time for photos

Another example of using only my phone was when I was downtown Chicago for work. I stayed at the Palmer House Hilton for the first time. I’ve been inside the lobby area and the street level elevator area but that’s it. I always knew it was gorgeous, has a wonderful history and that at some point I wanted to take the time to shoot there. This was not that time.

I did not have any time to use my “real” camera so I had some fun when I had a few moments in my room, waiting for the elevator or walking from one place to the next, with my phone. These are not the greatest images — my phone does not like low light much — but I know exactly where to go next time I’m there with my camera.

There are so many details, so much art, so much to see
The view from my open (ever so slightly) window

The first thing I do no matter where I’m staying is to look at the view from the window.

View from the room
Something different! (processed as 1/2 B&W and 1/2 color)
Looking down from the window, and yes, I was a little freaked out I’d drop my phone!
Another thing I like to do in hotels — especially when there are really long hallways.

Leaving the camera at home isn’t so bad now, is it? It’s always a struggle when packing for trips like this. Bring my camera, don’t bring my camera. Bring my camera, don’t bring my camera. The dialogue hurts my brain!

What about you? Do you ALWAYS take your camera on trips? What do you do if you don’t? Do you make the best of the non-photography related trips anyway? Tell me your trip stories! Leave me a comment — I’d love to hear other perspectives on this.

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