Post-Exotic Travel Syndrome

The pompous expression is mine but I have heard many photographers talking and writing about this phenomenon: When one returns from a long stay in a place with a totally different cultural environment (for the westerner point of view, that is) it becomes very difficult to find sufficient interest in our local people, places and objects to justify the will to photograph them. That’s just what happened to me. After tree weeks of intense traveling in Gujarat, Rajasthan and Maharashtra states, in India, I felt no visual interest whatsoever in my native environment. I know it’s temporary and I understand it’s difficult to compete with the exotic and photogenic India by comparison…

So I went for a couple of days to the far south of Portugal to find some rest and try to recover the will to shot less exotic motifs.

The Indian shots will be posted as soon as I finish developing (they were shot in RAW format) and organizing them.

School is up and I’ve started my preparations for the beginning of the school year. Time will be scarce for photography in the following weeks…

All photographs by António Marques – © António Marques Photoblog


10 responses

  1. Man, I hear that…after I spent two weeks in your native Portugal this year, shooting around the old streets of Minnesota is difficult! Good luck with school, and I hope you have time for shooting during the semester…

    September 16, 2012 at 20:27

    • António Marques

      Thanks, Trevor. It’s difficult to escape the novelty appeal…
      All the best!

      September 16, 2012 at 20:37

  2. I love this post…it’s SO true. Although, I think that’s why I love photography so much — it gives us a new perspective of things, just looking at things differently and more intimately, from behind the lens:) These are wonderful shots! (And I’d love to visit Portugal one day!)

    September 17, 2012 at 00:25

    • António Marques

      Thank you, Desirée.

      September 17, 2012 at 00:36

  3. rmk

    This is very true, but if it helps you are from Portugal, which is also a delightful and scenic place — and exotic to non-Portugese people. I think it’s all relative.

    I look forward to seeing the shots.

    September 17, 2012 at 06:52

    • António Marques

      Yes, I agree. It´s all relative and it´s also a temporary feeling…
      Thanks, RMK.

      September 17, 2012 at 11:26

  4. Thank you for the gorgeous pictures. Good luck overcoming your infliction – and of course , you will but in the meanwhile you might pretend you have entered an alien world called home but not really the one you left ever so long ago.Keep up the good work.!!!

    September 17, 2012 at 15:53

    • António Marques

      That´s it, Marialla; home feels alien and familiar at the same time. That´s why is so strange.

      September 17, 2012 at 16:41

  5. India is NOT photogenic. Well, I mean modern India. In comparison, Europe is not quite exotic but sometimes it’s more photogenic. The more India is becoming powerful, the less it is an interesting place for travellers and photographers.

    October 28, 2012 at 14:14

    • António Marques

      Well, I agree. That’s why my attraction towards traditional India ads up to a certain feeling of urgency to experience what might soon be lost. Perhaps India won’t be an “exotic” and photogenic place for much longer…

      October 28, 2012 at 15:26

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