The seductively lying photo

Photography is one art form that truly baffles the mind in many ways. And for readers who are ardent or more professionally inclined photographers, you would know that photos can be taken in many ways to present a mirage.

So this Daily mail article attempts to explain (here) what many of us already know. That some people do go to great lengths and effort to set up that perfect picture. Why? Because it sends a message. We are sure many go gaga over some of the images shared on instagram. They seem so perfect, so incredible. Wish you had been the one who took that photo huh?

Did you think Mel or Suan took the featured photo? Well no. We passed our underwater camera to a diver who got to a suitable depth to capture that shot. Heheh… we are being honest here…

But today our post is not just about how photos are constructed. It is about perception. Because like photography, how we live our lives can sometimes be a construct that we want others to see. Even though it may not in reality be the life we actually live. You know what we mean right? We have actually written about how folks who embark on a life of travel (because YOLO) seem to portray such a rosy situation.

Some call it an illusion. Others maintain that it is but a façade. What do you think? Just like how we portray our traveling lives on social media, showing mostly if not entirely the good parts only. Like what we asked as in do we instagram just to collect followers (here), is there a veneer of higher purpose when we do sharing? What purpose does it serve to share in your view?

How much of the world have you covered?

How well do you compare with the Queen or the likes of Sir David Attenborough when it comes to scouring the earth? Check it out here. Now they might not have covered ALL sovereign countries like James did (we wrote about it here), but they certainly have been places that we would be restricted from entering! But that said, we’ve probably also been places they would not be able to.

Do you count the number of countries you have visited? Hopefully not because of the bragging rights it is supposed to confer! Ok, we admit that our handprint maps do border on that… heheh. Hypocrites we are… sigh. Sorry.

How much have you coveredWe are regular contributors to Tripadvisor. And whenever you put in a review, they will clock in the city you have visited to your tally. Of course you can also go to the map and clock in the cities  without a review too. That takes integrity though because you must had visited. So be honest!

And the interesting thing is they have a little counter that tells you how many percent of the world you have traveled to.

So it’s not about how many countries but the number of places one’s touched. According to this tool, our tally comes in at 42%. Not too sure about the distances traveled though. Perhaps it has to do with where one is based. Wow. Would you believe in such information? We wrote in our post on how things change (here) that there is a lot of space on our spinning spaceship to cover (such as the last continent). So not for one moment we believe this, though it was the first time we noticed it.

Why do you count the number of countries you visited?

Pilotless Planes anyone?

Now you’all know about drones and driver-less trucks, even as such cars are coming on the roads near you. Here in our little red dot, we have extensive driverless subway train networks. It’s a matter of time before more transportation assets are turned over to intelligent algorithms.

But what if the plane you fly in is piloted not by a person, but by the same intelligent algorithm? If this development (read here) moves with that quick a pace, we could soon be at the mercy of AI. Don’t know about you, but we sure are nervous too like the author alluded. Well he said the palms are sweating. We on the other hand might have shaky knees.

Because Boeing is certainly adamant on the testing pilotless planes.

One thought that popped into our heads was this; that the most costly component of operating an aircraft (aside from the depreciation on the multi-billion dollar craft) would be the maintenance and… the highly paid pilots? Perhaps if this can be taken away costs will be reduced (read this)? What do you think? Or could it be that the aircraft maker actually believe that human operated flying machines are still less reliable or desired… perhaps we might see an unemployment line of pilots some day…

Will plane fares drop then? Heheh.

Yes, some day. We might all have to surrender ourselves to the mastery of technology. Put your life in the hands codes of artificial “beings”. Wow. Haven’t we seen these in movies before?

Don’t you love aircraft windows?

We all probably know about the dreaded middle seat and we wrote about seats being misaligned to the window (read here). Or the ones where one need the good graces of the other party sitting next to you to give way. So’d you can get out of your cramped seat for a stretch, or join the queue for the water closet (yeah we’d say toilet, but today we speak Queen’s English ok?). Heheh.

Today we are not talking about that.

Rather, the focus is on the views from the window seat. Assuming it is aligned to the window that is. We’ve said countless times how we enjoy the views from the window. Literally staring out for long periods of time until we realize it does hurt the eyes… The Daily Mail actually had pilots share photo images taken from the cockpit some months back. Made for excellent instagram posts… deraming about someday, beyond the sea air…

Obviously they have wider windows. Unfortunately we don’t, but here is a little slide show with some of the views we captured. Did you spot the one that does not seem right? Which one was it?

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Does this convince you to jostle for the window seat each time you get on a flight?

Forbidden to take pictures

Can you imagine not being able to take a photo at a place of sightseeing? Yep. That’s right. At this town you are not allowed to take photos. Why? Because apparently photos taken at this town and shared on social media may will cause envy. Read this article from Huffington a few months back here.

Heheh. Think about it. The town was so magnimious to forbid photo taking so that it will not incite envy…

But seriously, this is not the only town where one is not allowed to take photos. And the rationale pro-offered by the town in the article has a point. Aside from the revenue it collects from making you pay a fine… How often have you noticed that tourists are frequently more focused on taking pictures than actually taking in the view? There are lots of shuffling and elbowing just to get a photo, quite often with selfie sticks getting in your face if you are not careful.

That’s probably one of the pet peeves of “travelers”, ie those who want to be more than just casual tourists.

And sometimes it is for safety reasons too. In some places, the use of flash photography is forbidden, given the data that suggest excessive exposure to bright light may accelerate damage to antiquities. On the other hand, it can be risky in some places for folks to take photos too – dangers from falling off cliffs, buildings, boats, trains, aircraft… did you recall our post about how some folks take risky rooftop photos here?

So no photography in this village in Switzerland. Should that be a rule strictly enforced? What do you think?

PS: Heheh… if you read the article, you might have noted that it was also mentioned that this was a likely marketing gimmick of an off the beaten track town to gain some fame… at $5 per fine, they did not mention how they’d collect it, or if it will come with a cup of coffee! LOL.

A job that brings you places

Imagine that. A job that actually requires you to live in a different city each month even as you worked on a full time, permanent role. And be paid with benefits too… Isn’t that the dream of nomads of this world (hey the certificate is still available here) to have such a sweet spot?

If this (read article here) is truly available to you, would you jump up and take the offer?

Some time back, we wrote about mobile talent (here). It may not be exactly the vision you get when looking at the instagram posts of those who claim to be successful digital nomads. In fact it’s more conventional. More like working 9-5, what a way to make a living (barely getting by) but for shorter stints and in different locations. We gave some examples in that post but we are sure some of you dear readers would know of more. Care to share any?

Our own experience was one of moving around the world not many many times over a short period. Instead, we stayed for a number of years in a different location each time. And on different continents too. That gave us not only the opportunity to experience very different work environments but also the chance to explore a broad area while domiciled temporarily (albeit for a few years) in a fixed spot. And it gave depth to our soujorns too.

Our rationale: being in a particular place for too short a period of time may not sufficiently give you an all rounded experience. For the slightly longer durations we stayed facilitated us learning a new language, being able to prepare local food and building life long friendships.

Would this not count as being a nomad?