I Never Knew I Needed One…

I Never Knew I Needed One…

But then there are a lot of things I did not know until this year:

a. How happy I could be to be healthy. Reading the news is no fun any more – bank robberies and page-three girls have given way to grimmer things. Seeing the troubles that have afflicted others this year makes me ever so more grateful that it has not hit my home city or state as hard. That’s the background to a lot of the days now.

b. How much money is worth. A lot, when you see it disappearing, but not a lot when you see that it can buy comfort and enjoyment in bad times. Not ashamed to say this – sometimes you can’t buy happiness or stave off sadness with a purchase…but sometimes you can.

All that having been stated, what in the heck are those things in the heading image, and why do I want one?

They’re Ricoh Theta 360º cameras. They see all round themselves and send a picture to your mobile phone. You can then edit it and send it to other people, as well as save it on another device. Who needs them? Real estate salespeople primarily, as they show off interiors of property in such a way that people can take virtual tours of the place remotely. It’s still an art form and commercial theatre, but the salespeople know this. P.T. Barnum would have been a good real estate salesman…

But if you’re not flogging flats? Go on a holiday and take your friends who can’t travel. Show them where you went – exactly – and let them get the feel of the place. Go take environmental landscapes that go way past the 6 x 4 postcard.

And, while there are extremely pro Ricoh Thetas, there are also fun ones – the quartet you see in the heading image. Your holiday down south or up north will be with you in a way that mere colour slide shows can never capture.

Now how about going out and getting wet and drowned and bitten by sharks and sea snakes…and capturing it all on digital. Sound good? Wanderlust has the goggles for you and GoPro action cameras to mount on them. All you have to do is supply the raw courage and foolhardiness.

I’ll wait on shore with the tourniquet and the SES on speed-dial. You go on out there and enjoy yourself.

And finally, you asked whether Wanderlust has anything for the quieter wanderer – the person who just needs a camera. Funnily enough Camera Electronic does…look at the fourth shelf down in the glass cabinet and you’ll see a number of Panasonic and Leica picture boxes. They are all small enough to go with you anywhere and advanced enough to make all the pictures you take look good.

One day you and I will be travelling again. We’ll jolly well appreciate it when we do, and we’ll probably take a lot more pictures on the trip. This hiatus is a good time to re-assess our travel shot skills, re-equip, and practise getting the sort of shots that we really want.

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