Since the rise of digital photography, taking pictures of where you are all the time has become a necessity of life. A digital camera with a quality that can stand scrutiny will cost next to nothing. So, everybody's got one of these tiny gems of technology. They seem to fill a gap in our pattern of basic needs we never even noticed before. Especially for those of us who are visiting a foreign country.
Air conditioned holiday coaches roam across the capital city to deliver their cargo to the obligatory tourist sites. To be sure, these usually are interesting places with often a long history, boasting a magnificent building or grandiose monument. Nothing wrong with showing visitors around and teaching them a bit of background on the way through.
But there is an observational twist, a kind of anthropology of man, the urban animal, showing its gregarious mentality. This intriguing mass behaviour unfolds after the packs have been set loose by their guides to wander around the famous site.
Now, the digital revolution comes to the fore. All these men and women are raising their digital eyes to make the photos they are going to show to their relatives and friends at home. What they see is what they want: a statuette, a fountain, a bell tower, an antique church spire. A personal account, a proof of your visit to the north.
What is worth documenting? Decisions are made on the spot and somehow these decisions are similar over and again. Imagine a little experiment, in which we secretly switch around some people's memory cards with their recorded images - when would anybody start to notice?