Stealing Moments

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Food Market, Barcelona, Spain (November 2011)

          For Thanksgiving break, I traveled to London and Barcelona to visit friends who were studying abroad. Before I left, my dad gave me a new camera; “the latest,” he assured me. I was fascinated with the quality of the images produced by the camera, and made sure to use it as much as possible while on the trip. Upon my return home, I uploaded over 700 images, and found that five shots from a food market we visited were of the same older man looking at different booths. Although there was nothing particularly memorable about his appearance, I wondered how I had not noticed that I had been taking photographs of the same subject in a variety of different locations. Similar to Antonio in Calvino’s “The Adventure of a Photographer,” I had become so fascinated with my new camera that I failed to notice any characteristic of my photos beyond their aesthetic value. I spent so much time documenting my trip that, in stealing moments from this older man, I failed to appreciate the unique experience with my friends, as I was instead compelled to document the vibrant colors and unique textures in the market. Like the typical American tourist described by Sontag, I felt I had to have tangible evidence of my experience, as I lost over 700 seconds of my trip trying in vain to make it last forever.

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