I was writing two new posts these week, both unpublished, one about Bethlehem, and one about Lancaster.. Both are places I briefly visited this past weekend. I was disappointed, as I often am, that I had less than stellar pictures to chose from. I went into this weekend thinking I’d also do a quick post on Conshohocken, as I visited there as well, but had absolutely nothing to show from there, so I scratched that. Non-blogging related, I went to a really fun neighborhood block party Saturday night. It was costumed, 70’s-disco themed. I had one great picture, a few blurry ones, but really a whole lot of nothing.
If I’m going somewhere specifically to write about it, I usually take a lot of pictures. When I’m out in nature, hiking, or XC skiing, I take pictures quite often. When I’m out with friends, and we’re eating, and drinking, and socializing, and in general, I’m having a really good time, like I did in Lancaster, Conshohocken, Bethlehem, and this neighborhood party, well, then pictures become somewhat secondary. Many of the best nights of my life are completely undocumented.
It’s a bit of a double-edged sword.
One one hand, I’m glad that my life doesn’t revolve around Instagram likes. Some of my very favorite blogs, and very favorite Instagram accounts, are uber curated. And they look great. They look much better than mine. They sell me on the fun they are having. But because I could be a bit of a cynic, I sometimes wonder how much fun those people are actually having. Are they enjoying the mountainous scenery, or spending the entire time trying new angles? Is that party a great time, or were they too exhausted to enjoy it once that photo shoot was over? Was that beer even drinkable, after it’d been carefully put on a ledge and photographed at different angles in the sun? My guess is that the majority of those folks consider it work. They consider it a job. They don’t necessarily go into this looking to have fun and create content, as much as they go into it looking to create content, and maybe have a bit of fun. There was a point a couple of years ago when I thought this here blog might start taking off a bit, and it felt like everything became about getting hits, or likes, or good pictures, and the fun of travel and exploration did dull a bit.
You hear the word authentic thrown around a lot int he blogging community. People want to be authentic. They claim they’re authentic, even if it’s a carefully filtered and tapered authenticity. I like to think this blog, and my photographs look authentic. They look like some guy took them on an I-phone. It looks like the kind of pictures your friend would take on vacation. They look like the kinds of photos someone takes in between drinks, and bites, and conversations,which in turn can start to look like someone who’s not putting forth that much effort to try and transport you to this specific time and place. Sometimes authenticity can lead to my photos, Instagram account, and thus this blog, looking amateurish.
I’m sure there’s a happy medium out there somewhere, and I hope to find it someday. At the same time, I’m glad I’m still having fun. Otherwise, I don’t think it’d be worth it. But, maybe then more would be reading.
Editor’s Note: Feel free to be stunned by the header photo, which at the time, I myself thought was stunning work.