Enthralled with the ideal, we carefully frame our photos to match expectations, to match what we know we should see and should experience.
During a cruise over the top of the world, we learned that even in July, the Arctic Circle is pretty cold and gray. Okay, freezing, rainy and snowy (I didn’t think you’d believe me, after all, it was JUNE). In response to the un-photogenic weather, everyone in my group took a photo of the travel brochure cover that featured our ship floating in a bright blue fjord surrounded by blue sky, majestic green mountains. A contrast to what we actually saw.
That’s why the journal is indispensable. I wrote about taking that idealized photos of our brochure. I described the cold, the rain and snow that makes up the Arctic summer experience. And because I wrote it down, we know the truth behind that beautiful overhead ship photo.
Experience is never the same as propaganda. It’s also never the same as even the photos you take yourself.