Some might look familiar.
This may or may not surprise you, but there are billions of photos taken around the world every day — and most of them are not exactly unique. Videographer and drone specialist Oliver Kmia’s compilation of strangers’ almost identical travel photos using the same Instagram hashtags makes this extremely apparent.
Part of what divides us is the idea that we are all so different, but maybe, as evident in this video of images, our sameness truly does connect us around the globe.
Kmia spent six months producing “Instravel – A Photogenic Mass Tourism Experience” and published it on Vimeo a week ago. The idea is to show just how identical our travel images are to the person’s standing next to us or behind us in line at the Leaning Tower of Pisa (or literally anywhere).
He was inspired by the massive crowds around the Trevi Fountain after his trip to Rome last summer and other artists who use the same video technique. Although Kmia makes it clear his video is not meant to be a social commentary and even he admittedly takes photos just like these.
Kmia does feel there is an issue when creating memories takes a backseat to taking photos for the sole purpose of sharing: “Many people didn’t really enjoy the moment and were hooked to their smartphones, as if the ultimate goal of travel was to brag about it online and run after the likes and followers. This is what, I believe, has changed over time. Some people are not creating memories but trying to collect Internet points,” he said.
There is no harm in taking a photo while traveling, just make sure you’re making an effort to be present without a screen in your face or phone in your hand. Be aware of your surroundings and take in every detail of the moment. This awareness may even assist in creating the perfect caption for your photo, after all.