I’m a terrible vacation photographer. Over the last 20 years, I have taken pictures every day for work in one form or another, so when I go away, I just don’t want to be bothered. But I’m always pissed off when I get home (and years later) that I don’t have pictures from my trip. Three months in Europe…one picture. A summer in Hawaii…a roll of black and whites. A solo drive to Montana…well, I took some but I have no idea where they are. So on our recent trip to Mexico, I vowed that I would at least make an attempt to meaningfully document our trip. But that created a major dilemma. I shoot everything with my iPhone these days and said iPhone was to be banished to the hotel safe for this entire trip. Yikes! I also hate carrying around a cumbersome camera. Double yikes! So I did some googling and some popping into shops and came up with this little piece of lo-fi rapture.At only three and a half ounces, the Digital Harinezumi is like carrying around an old roll of 110mm film. Shooting with it is about as close as I’ll ever get to firing away with that little Pentax my parents gave me for my seventh birthday. The pictures it takes are…well…ratty and contrasty and pixellated, and kind of wonderful. But I guess whether they are good or not is in the eye of the beholder. I try to take clear and crisp pictures every day and I somehow wanted to step outside the box with these. I wanted a different way of telling the story. Think laser printer vs. Bic. Eight track vs. MP3. I also went old-school with the way I shot…no peeking until the vacation was over with feet planted firmly on Manhattan’s pavement. So, this little guy got shoved in my pocket and went with us on strolls and golf cart rides through the streets and (amazing!) graveyard in Centro-Supmza on Isla Mujeres. It ate breakfast, lunch and dinner with us. It looked out over the rough and tumble turquoise Caribbean atop the cliffs at El Garrafón National Park. It got pelted with rain as we ferried back to Cancun to begin our three days of sheer and utter bliss on the thank-the-baby-lord-Jesus-it-exsists Mayan Riviera. It got scratched and dropped, soaked and baked. I lost it, I found it and then I dropped it again.
I like what this miniature soldier brought back on its tiny little SIM card. The photos are full of contrast and color. Some are crisp and some not. Many are distorted and some, not so much. But one thing is for certain. What this little guy lacks in perfection, he more than makes up for in personality. Kinda like Mexico.