Rewind back a few years and you’d be looking at about 90 camera films just to get that little lot onto the local photo developers’ counter and probably the best part of £600 and several weeks of your life just to wait and see how many viable pictures eventually arrived in the post.
Back then, the journey an album-worthy photograph had to navigate – forgotten lens caps, fat fingers, dead flash batteries, double exposure, red eye – was more arduous than that of those incredible salmon we learned all about at Vancouver’s Capilano river hatchery, dodging exhaustion and bears and bald eagles just to make it safely home again. I know lots about salmon now, I took 32 photos of grey fish I’ll never look at again. And I wasn’t alone.
At every point of holiday interest, and even the points of not-that-much-interest, there we all were, handheld devices aloft silently snapping our way to 2,139 photographs. Photographs of rivers or forests or stunning mist-covered mountains. Snap. Of the same stunning mist-covered mountains but with a bit more ethereally diffused sunlight. Snap, snap. The same stunning mist-covered mountain with a bit more ethereally diffused sunlight plus a bird just appeared in the distance. Snap, snap, snap!
After four glorious weeks of adventures, trekking through forests, kayaking up inlets, gawping at grizzlies, marvelling in museums, shivering on glaciers and having the best time, I have hundreds of incredible moments frozen for posterity. But. I fear I may have, on occasion, cheated myself from the bigger picture.
We squeezed in an awful lot on our holiday, but what I didn’t do nearly enough of was simply drink it all in. I can’t always recollect how I felt standing in those spots, looking out across those breath-taking vistas, enjoying the moment itself, instead of trying to capture it.
Anouska is a bestselling author of four novels published across 20 countries. Currently writing Women’s Fiction for Harper Collins.