Graham Reid | | 2 min read
I can't remember when I started doing it, but certainly in 1995 when I first went to Vietnam – the year after it opened itself to foreign tourists – I was taking a photo out the window of every room I stayed in.
On a few occasions there hasn't been a window – an underground backpackers in Stockholm, a death-trap dump in Taipei – and certainly there were some views which were unattractive: a brick wall in Sydney; the rubbish tips of other people's backyards in Japan; the parking lot of a motel in Louisiana; a suburban street is Seattle . . .
But every now and again I'd dump my bag, walk to the window and say “Wow!”.
None of the cameras I've used over the years were special in any way. There were those cheap yellow disposables, with a Polaroid, little things chosen because they were portable and fitted easily in a jacket pocket, latterly just a phone.
There have been photos from fales in Samoa; a view across Los Angeles from a famous Art Deco place; out of a portholes in Fiji and another somewhere between Auckland and New Caledonia; pictures from Spain, Italy, France, Britain, Sweden; dozens of places across the American south; cheap digs in New Zealand; desertscapes in the Australian Outback . . .
I don't know why I started doing this.
In the years before Facebook these weren't taken to be posted and announce “look where I am”, they were just taken for my pleasure and maybe to remind me in later years of places I'd been.
It has become a habit – and my eldest son who travels constantly for work has his own variant. In every room he sets his fancy camera to auto-delay and takes a photo of himself standing in a far corner.
Charlie Watts used to draw his hotel rooms, so my son is in good company.
Once I got this elsewhere website up and running I decided to devote a page to Windows on Elsewhere for my own reference and which very few visitors would even bother with.
But it is here for the curious, a few hundred photos out of windows in the past 25 years.
Why do I do this?
As Charles Foster Kane once said, “My reasons satisfy me”.
These entries are of little consequence to anyone other than me Graham Reid, the author of this site, and maybe my family, researchers and those with too much time on their hands.
Enjoy these random oddities at Personal Elsewhere.