Waving a stick

Can you imagine a stick being waved in your face as you walk along? Well, that’s the subject of this ban in Milan some months back. And they are not the only city or attraction to roll out this rule – ie no use of a wefie stick. How risky can it be some may ask?

Well. Did you know that India has been cited to be where the highest incident of fatalites occur from the taking of selfies and wefies? If statistics are reliable (and sure take it with a pinch of salt), it is said that almost half of the fatalities worldwide occurred in India. Most of the occurrences were from falling and drowning. And specifically for India there was mention about railway track deaths too. Even Wiki has an article on this. Wonder if it was because of lack of transparency that we don’t get much of data about fatalities in other countries…

Of course some might be curious as to what numbers are we talking about here. And that’s where we come to a grey area. The Boston Globe suggests 127 fatalities over the last several years (kind vague huh?). Does not sound like a lot? Well every life is precious you know.


We wondered what happened to good ole asking a favour from other folks to take a picture. Because that seems safer and it is pleasant to return the favour too. Unless one is intent on taking risky photos – such as the rooftop ones we cited here. Now that one you’ve signed onto a totally different thing because you know the risk.

Does this convince you to swear off taking selfies or wefies now? Or are you guilty of waving a stick in the air too?

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 in Okinawa (here). 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?

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?

Have you seen sleeping whales?

We’ve written about our snorkels and how beautiful the world underneath the seas are. But have you ever wondered, with all the tempestuous sea currents and potential predators – how does a fish sleep? Does it even sleep at all? Perhaps the naturalist or Zoologist within the midst of the readers can tell us more.

But today we are sharing with you a link (here) where you can see more of the photos taken by Franco off the coast of Dominica. Since we’ve just rambled a few days back about not seeing them – Whales, that’s what we’re talking about. It is said they don’t really sleep but snooze (ie nap?), and even then for short stints of between 6 to 25 minutes. Wow.

Sleeping Whales
Lifted from the Daily Mail

They look so majestic even as they sleep, don’t they?

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.

How many travel photos have you taken?

Don’t quite know what to call this post. It’s kind of a reminisce but also a rant. Perhaps this is just one more of our directionless musings…

About what you curiously ask?

Photos. Pictures taken from one’s travel journeys. Not the ones at home with family, friends, colleagues or acquaintances. Real travel photos. Pictures of places you visited, even if it is your own home base. Do you know how many have you taken?

We’ve read posts about de-cluttering our lives through the ‘purging’ of unwanted stuff. Ok that’s generalizing it a fair bit, but you get the picture (no pun intended)? Because this question popped up one day (about de-cluttering), and we got curious about how many photos we actually have of our travel handprints. You might know that we are part of the generation that straddled the film and digital eras. So that’s tricky because we have albums of printed photos too.

Hence we defined for ourselves that for film, the number of photos would be how many we have scanned into digital form. Yeah we hear the howls of disbelief from our film refugee peers, but hey you gotta start somewhere right? How does that look like? The graph below (yeah occupation hazard) illustrates:

Travel Photo Statistics

Did you notice how the spike in the number of photos started from the advent of digital photography? Yes, digital storage is virtually free, or at least very (very) low cost. Granted there are personal reasons in the stats too (such as number of journeys in each year). We know what we have might pale in comparison to some of you out there. But the point is – the average has clearly risen!

Are we alone? Of course not. So can you imagine how many pictures had been taken around the world by folks and possibly shared? Think millions only? LOL. This brings up an interesting point. There is so much sharing in social media of photos. Is it time to de-clutter?

How many travel photos have you taken? Do you organize them? Do you need to ‘de-clutter’ them?