Monday, March 14, 2016


Photo by Heidi Ayala

For the first time in many years I am on a vacation and have little desire to take pictures. After four days, my brand new Nikon remains packed in my suitcase, right next to my blood pressure monitor; so far I haven't needed either one. Okay, so I've snapped some shots of the ocean outside my hotel room window with my iPhone, who wouldn't? Beyond that, taking pictures seems like an intrusion on my limited time in a new environment and a stunning conceit to think people even give a damn.

I've come up with three reasons for this. First is my desire to actually be in the moment where I am right now and not miss it while I'm busy miniaturizing my surroundings inside a camera frame. Second is that whole posting-photos-on-Facebook thing, wherein people put up countless uninspired and uninspiring pictures of themselves and/or places they've been or are right now, to what end I am not sure. (Are we supposed to feel jealous? 'Cause I don't.) So spare us those drab snapshots of backyard barbecues or adorable (to you) grandchildren making cupcakes or your precious kitties (I am so guilty of that one!) or doggies or your kid's graduation -- Mom, Dad and offspring in cap and awkwardly grinning into the camera -- or even you zip-lining across a blurry gorge in fabulous Costa Rica. Believe me, plenty of travel websites do it better.

Which brings me to my third reason for ignoring my Nikon this trip: Photos as fine art are another thing altogether, and lots of people do it way better than I can. To see some spectacular images by an unknown artist who deserves wide recognition, bypass the mundane and visit, where Floridian Heidi Ayala sees the world in a truly unique way.

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