All posts by Clifford Owusu-Gyamfi

About Clifford Owusu-Gyamfi

The Life of Christ lives in me

Tourists and photography

I travel with my iphone. It’s very powerful to capture every kind of object as long as I keep a certain distance. It does good job for me when I even want to record a video. So you can imagine that I don’t carry heavy cameras with me when I’m on tour. What I exactly want to emphasize in this short article is about taking photos as a tourist.

There was a time I met a tourist at a certain airport and I requested him to take me a photo at the airport. He said no the people here do not like that. And I asked him who told you? I insisted on him to take me the photo. He got a blur shot because he was shivering. He was afraid. Meanwhile, it was not written anywhere that “no snapshot”.  I took my photos without any problem. How does a tourist build his courage of taking photos?

Tourism is fun and the fun continues after we start flipping through the photos that we took. That’s the only tangible means to immortalize your experience. So it is important to note that what comes into your snapshot matters a lot. These are some practical theories about taking photos as a tourist.

Avoid shyness

You are a tourist and you came to experience something. Snap it! Go beyond limit. zoom beyond what everyone can see. Feel at ease to take your photos whether in the city center, railway station, airport, inside plane, and wherever, try to kill your shyness. People don’t think about you that much. Let them know that you’re a passionate tourist.

Snap yourself

Don’t go home with 2 gigabits of photos without yourself. Never feel shy to make a polite request from someone to take you a photo. People are good and it’s nice for you also to experience people in this kind of gesture. If you went in group, bingo!

Take more than two snapshots

You must get the best quality out of an image. That means take more than two shots and take the best one when you’re home. If you give your camera to someone to take you, always ask them to take you about three or more. Change styles and take more. For all you know some people might cut your head off in the camera. How will you feel to see after that your best background didn’t have your head in the photo?

Take necessary photos

Some people want to take everything on tour and by the time they’re to experience a real  adventure, their drive is already full. Somethings may be funny or interesting but doesn’t mean you must take a photo of it. Part of tourism has to do with telling abstract experiences. You don’t really need photos all the time.

Be careful of your battery

Many cameras just run out of battery without any indication. You’ll see the battery level as 60% and all of a sudden the red indicator will start warning you at 20%. It’s very painful to run out of battery on a half way tour. Always carry extra battery with you. If you use smart phones, always be careful to control the battery.

Use the internet

A tourist friend is the internet cafe. You don’t have to dare data roaming. In fact you don’t need it. Fortunately many guest houses have wifi. When you’re connected to the internet, you can upload the photos of the day online. You can try dropbox, Google drive, etc. If you went with your laptop, bingo! Try to keep your photos safe as much as possible.

Respect privacy

You can’t go taking photos everywhere and everyone that you see. One time in Switzerland I was on post working with a company’s uniform and I met one tourist girl who wanted to take selfie with me. I told her that please I can’t take a photo with you whiles I’m in this uniform. Well maybe I overstretched things.

Taking a photo of police officers on duty without their permission can cause you two hours detention to answer questions. Or entering a private premises to take photos can get you into trouble. This means that extreme vigilance is necessary when taking photos as a tourist. I have had the occasion to take photos with army officers and police officers on post. All that it takes is to ask politely. Only try to avoid taking photos of persons when they’re not aware.

There are many others that you can reflect on your own the next time you are on tour. You need a great caution but at the same time, you need to take photos. Just be wise!

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Copenhagen, Denmark

I arrived in Copenhagen on the 1st January 2014. I celebrated the New Year here Copenhagen airport is one that can boast of luxuries. In fact a very beautiful one. I slept at the backpackers hostel right beside the train station in the city center. In fact I got it a cool prize for two nights with breakfast. I walked through Copenhagen taking notice of gigantic church buildings that show the effects and traditions of Christianity in the city.

calsbergI was at Calsberg, the parliament house, and many other interesting areas. But I never had the time to visit the little mermaid. As my new found friend Yumi Hong from South Korea said, it’s too little to be interested. But I disagreed though. It doesn’t have to be big but it has achieved it’s name already.

People in Copenhagen are very friendly and many speak English so communication isn’t hard for tourists. They were quite excited to take your camera to give you a snapshot.

The train system was effective and comes and goes within every five minutes. I did enjoyed my stay and ended it with a Chinese restaurant which I forgot to take notice of the name. But it’s just at the opposite direction of the train station towards the left on the high lane on the other side.

Easyjet gave me a smooth flight both in and out. In fact my flight to Copenhagen and back was one of the best. May be the best after Turkish Airlines. This is not an aircraft review. I think I’m talking about the pilots who flew me in and out.

Copenhagen_zoo

Bucharest, Romania

Bucharest, Romania

I arrived in Bucharest on the 19th January 2014. I was welcomed at the airport by my friend and brother Spiridon Razvan Madalin of whom I stayed with including all of his family. I had the greatest experience of my life in Romania.  I preached at a Seventh-day Adventist youth church called AMICUS Church on the 21st January 2014. I met many people

2014-01-25 15.45.09

and made some new friends such as Maria, Roxi Lita, Draghici Arrys and  many others. Since my birthday fell on the 23rd January, the Spiridon family organized a special birthday celebration for me on the afternoon of 25th January having preached at Bellu Church in the morning. 

I left Romania with a good heart. I visited the People’s House or the parliament

2014-01-20 18.47.29palace which is the second largest building on surface level after the Pentagon of the USA. It is also the biggest parliament in the whole world. It was built by the great communist leader Nicolae Ceaușescu. Click here for more information.

I was also at the Adventist Publishing house which is the largest Adventist publishing  house in Europe, the Adventist 

Adventist Theological Institute

Theological College of Romania, AFI Cotroceni Palace shopping mall and many other places.

I left Romania on Wizzair to Geneva on the 26th January.  After spending some few hours in the house, I continued my journey to Detmold in Germany where I spent another week with my friend and brother Asante Ntim.

Why people travel for pleasure

Why do people travel for pleasure?

Well the answer to the above question is not very simple. Not simple in that, every tourist is made up of stories that define the pleasurable moments. To some it’s about food. And many others, it’s about sight seeing. Others tour to discover whatever. Whatever the motive and experience, there is always some kind of great pleasurable story to tell. But I will take this opportunity to enumerate on what tourist’s pleasure is all about.

What is termed as pleasure is a mingle of different encounters. It’s not to be limited to fantastic experiences. I don’t know others in this case but for me, the fatal jerking of the flight and the safe landing make the story a great one and pleasurable. This is why I emphasize that every tourist has a story to share, whether good or bad.

DSC_0381In most cases, traveling for pleasure will turn up to a different perspective. So the idea of traveling for pleasure is subjectively relative to many unexpected circumstances. The kind of people you meet on your way can fulfill your pleasure for that kind of travel. Or to say, a kind of restaurant that gave you an opportunity to taste something different will make up all the pleasure that you needed. So having pleasure in traveling is not per se in the movement from place to place, rather the things that give you the story in the travel.

Many tourists, including myself are much focused on what to see than for example,  what to feel, hear, go through, etc. So our preparation is all about a good camera and an internet cafe to connect through the social media. Such are only concern about the joy to have been there and there. But the legacy that must endow every tourist must be the experience with the location. There must be a correspondence between you and the environment. The place shouldn’t be a passive integration of your past dreams. In fact, your visit must reward you with something that connects in daily life activity. I would like to give an example at this point. When I visited Copenhagen, from the airport, I saw the 

inscription “Welcome to Denmark” with a footnote “That calls for a Calsberg”. In fact I new Calsberg as a beer but that sounded strange to me at my welcome. So I googled and found that Calsberg beer was born in Denmark. WOW! In fact I didn’t know because I don’t drink beer and hardly I met that in my readings. So I tried to visit the Calsberg Brewing Company. Today, anytime and anywhere I see Calsberg beer, Denmark comes to my mind. So my visit wasn’t a one-time experience, but it has both present and timeless experience with me. This is the pleasure that sets the tourist from the passer by.

So yes, we don’t travel for pleasure. We travel to seek pleasure. Tourism is not a one-time passing by pleasure, rather, a long lasting pleasure that regenerate tangible memories both past and present.

When I was traveling from Geneva to Atlanta, the aircraft flew us through Montreal and certain parts of Canada. Upon reaching a particular point, the pilot swerved the plane to give us a view of the terrain. Though this twist was not a part of my original travel, it spiced up a good memory and even the turning of the aircraft.