I’ve long outgrown the urge to buy lots of memorabilia to remember my travels by. Whilst the little mementos can be great reminders of the lovely times spent in foreign land, they take up too much space and collect too much dust. Instead, I collect pictures I make. I find it more fulfilling to be involved in the creation of these keepsakes, to the extent that I sometimes struggle to choose between being in the moment or watching the moment from behind a lens.
That feeling came to the forefront again this past weekend, when we were caving in Waitomo, New Zealand. We’d signed up for an ‘extreme’ caving adventure – 3 hours of literally squeezing our way through tight crevices and inching along slick walls above underground rivers. For safety reasons, we weren’t allowed to carry along cameras; our guides did bring along a rugged compact camera which they used to take pictures for us. On the one hand, I was happy to not to abuse my camera in such conditions. I was torn too though, about not being able to make my own pictures – I found myself constantly thinking about the best angle or light to capture the scene before me as I slid my way forward in the near darkness.
Haha, I’ll be honest – I’m still regretting that I wasn’t able to capture a picture of the caves full of glow worms. But hey, there will be further opportunities, and different caves to explore (Lithgow Tunnel in the Blue Mountains!). And in the meantime, we had a blast worming our way around the Waitomo Caves!
* Pictures are not my own
** These pictures are part of the promotional shots that came with our trip pics. One of our guides helped hold the softboxes for a few of those!