I have always had a strong interest in photography, so one of my favorite things to do when we travel is to take pictures.  The problem is that I like to take what I consider to be the perfect picture.  This is one area where my quest for perfection also requires me to nurture my ability to be patient.

I like to take my time with each shot to make sure the lighting and angles are just right.  I also take care to make sure the composition is the way I want it and I will go to great lengths to make sure the picture captures the subject of the picture to my satisfaction.   To me that can mean a picture that does not include any unwanted objects or subjects, including random strangers, in my shot.  Don’t get me wrong, when we travel, I like to meet and interact with other people; however, I do not, necessarily, want them in all of my pictures.

This can be very difficult if not impossible, at times, but I still try.  In recent years, I have lowered my standards a little and now can sometimes tolerate random people in the background but I still will not take the picture if there will be unwanted people prominently displayed in the foreground.  Of course, there are times when I want to take the picture of people we have met or even of crowd scenes, but, that is an entirely different kind of picture from scenic or landmark pictures.

I have caused my family much frustration in my efforts to shoot the perfect picture.  I once spent close to 20 minutes trying to take a picture I wanted of a trolley coming down a hill in front of an old church without any other moving vehicles or pedestrians in the shot.   Trust me that was not easy considering it was a busy street in Lisbon.  I have been known to get up at the crack of dawn to take pictures of empty squares or landmarks without any tourists in the picture.

Square in Barcelona - no people

Square in Barcelona – no people

Square in Barcelona - with people

Square in Barcelona – with people

Piazza Vecchia-Bergamo - no people

Piazza Vecchia-Bergamo – no people

Piazza Vecchia-Bergamo - with people

Piazza Vecchia-Bergamo – with people

Once, after a long day of walking the streets of Rome, the children and I were sitting on a prominent location on the Spanish Steps while many other tourists were taking pictures of the crowded Steps and us.   All I could think of was that we were now prominently in their pictures and we would forever be part of their trip to Rome.   I would rather get up at dawn and take a picture of the empty Spanish Steps than take all of these strangers home with me.

Joe and his kids on the Spanish Steps

Joe and his kids on the Spanish Steps

On Monday, Joe observes that running a business has allowed him to simplify his life in “K.I.S.S.”.