I play head games with myself all the time though I rarely seem to win. Here’s a couple of examples:
- Just wait a little more and some wildlife will magically appear…
- I’m sure the receptionist will call you soon and put an end to this insufferable waiting…
It is entirely possible that I have also hoodwinked myself on today’s topic, but I’ll let you be the judge.
I keep hearing that photographers should regularly put down their cameras and just enjoy the moment, drink up the atmosphere in a beautiful scene. People complain about photographers who view an entire holiday through a lens.
The assumption is that photography can be a tiny distraction. Now it’s theoretically possible that the following activities might add to that impression:
- Hauling around a boat load of equipment
- Fussing with camera controls
- Looking for different angles to take the photo
- Muttering at trees that jumped in front of wildlife
- Rearranging meal times to take advantage of good light
- Constantly checking the sun’s direction and shady spots
- Uttering guttural noises at a histogram that dared to tell an unflattering truth
Now on the face of it, that might appear to be a bit of a case … OK a strong case. However, there is a simple counter point that I believe trumps them all. I like taking photos. Please stay with me.
When I see a beautiful landscape or watch wildlife, my desire to photograph the scene intensifies my interest. My senses are on full alert and I soak in as much information and feeling as I can possibly take in. I look at different angles, observe more detail and visualize more possibilities.
Earlier this year, I described the thrill of watching a fox hunt for an hour. My eye was pressed against the camera nearly all the time and I may have watched every jump through the lens. My adrenaline surged every time I anticipated a jump as I readied my finger on the shutter. Did photography take anything away from that experience for me? Hardly!
For the poor souls who are forced to watch photographers do all these things (I am thinking of my long suffering wife here) on a “family holiday” … well that’s another story. I can see where that would be more than a little distracting, definitely annoying and thoroughly boring. If I wasn’t a photographer, I might be first in line to just keep driving right on by. Where does my wife get all that patience?
But for me, I think photography makes the experience better and it gives me something to complain about when the photos don’t turn out. Oh yes and then there is that whole blogging thing.
So … am I just fooling myself?