Friday, April 15, 2011
Are we photographers or are we hunters?
I irregularly keep a journal, a place where I write down ideas, interesting quotes, random thoughts, and where I do a lot of doodling. I was looking at an entry I made last December, the day after walking and photographing on the beach.
As photographers, we think we see so much, notice so much. But do we really? The top photo shows you what my journal entry looks like. Let me transcribe it for you here. Before I do, however, let me also show you the photo that I took at the very beginning of my walk and another I took at the very end. I like both of them. But . . .
What if I hadn't had a camera with me on the beach yesterday? Would I have seen or noticed less? Or more? Would the experience have been richer?
It surprises me to think that maybe I would have seen more. Moved more slowly. But why?
I think having a camera with me gives what I see more importance. But (for me) there's always the quest for the next photo. So while I'm admiring the composition in front of me, my mind is subliminally thinking about the next shot, my eyes flickering left, right, ahead — what am I missing as I shoot this?
We're photographers. But are we also hunters? Instead of concentrating solely on what's in front of us, are we keeping an eye out for something in addition to what we're seeing now? And is that diluting the experience of the moment and, as a result, the photo we're taking at the moment?
How many fireworks displays have we not seen because we were photographing them? And I'll always remember a balloon "glow" in Albuquerque that I never really saw. How about you? ©Carol Leigh