Writing VS Taking a Picture

You cannot take a picture of experiences.

I find it intriguing how I can take out my phone every time I feel something is worth remembering. I do this with the powerful technological tool I have in my pocket, because I feel what is behind the lens of the camera, is worth recording and deserves a second glance. I intend to go back home, sit on my comfortable sofa and flick through to reminisce about that experience.

Taking it a step further, I won’t just keep the photos or videos to myself but will share it with others hoping that they can experience the same.

What I’m not realising though, is that the picture or video is limited to the many pixels I or others see on the screen. That’s all we see. No explanation, no context, no description. Of course videos and pictures have a very powerful and effective way of explaining something but put it alongside some writing and you’ll see some results. For the one taking the photo or video, we can go as far as associating a context, sound and experience. The picture tells you what you see and can limit you thinking about the experience. Now try this – write something similar to a short passage, around 40-60 words alongside this picture and make sure its something unique to you. Something that moved you or made you feel that this picture was worth taking. You will now start to not only move yourself but also others through a dimension which may not have been possible had you shared it without some writing.

The act of writing gives me the chance to stop, take a look around, and ask myself crucial questions like, “Where am I going?” and, “Is this where I want to be?”

William frazier

Frazier’s quote above on the matter makes me realise that the same cannot be done with pictures and videos. Historically writing has been, still is (to a certain degree) and will always be our main technology for communication and dissemination.

Through writing about my experiences of travelling, I’ve allowed myself to think and read between the lines. I’ve allowed myself to remember the details of the journey better, so that others, including myself, can benefit. I’ve allowed myself to stay sane and organise the chaos around me and in my mind. Writing has allowed me to zoom into the picture and take a closer look at what was going on. This has helped expand the power and potential of my brain to imagine and picture a memory like no other. For that reason, I believe, sitting, imagining & daydreaming through writing and reading is a lot more effective than solely taking photos and videos and then viewing them.

Start writing intentionally.

Juber ahmed

If you want to start writing, then I’ll give you a tip. Start writing intentionally. It’s as simple as that. Don’t just write, but know why you are writing. Have an aim, objective and purpose. Start off by keeping a journal of what you do throughout the day, week or month. Explore what interests you and write about it. Create a blogIts completely free. Go to wordpress.com to begin. Just stick with it as and when you can.

For more tips on writing, click here. I’ve used this website myself and have found it very useful. The core thing to remember in my opinion is what Michael Foley mentions, ‘write for others and you’ll benefit no one; write for yourself and you’ll benefit many‘.


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