Thursday, May 13, 2010
Why I don’t take photos
Everywhere on the internet you'll find stunning photographs. There are thousands of photo-streams, galleries and blogs showcasing people's images.
Nature blogs, in particular, are just brimming with breathtaking photos.
Except for mine.
Now don't get me wrong. I enjoy beautiful photos as much as anyone. There was even a time when I took wildlife photos myself (never very good ones, mind you) and - out in my shed – I've a stack of dusty transparencies to prove it.
But I stopped. Why?
Because gradually I came to realise that photography was changing the way I perceived the world.
Instead of thinking, 'Oh what a glorious place!', I'd be wondering, 'Would this make a good photo?'. I started seeing nature in snapshot-sized pieces, framing everything within a view finder in my mind. Photography doesn't prevent you from observing wonderful things (unless, of course, you happen to be fighting to open your camera bag, or changing lenses, or searching for that spare battery). On the whole, you still get to see the cheetah racing after the springbok lamb, or the baby baboons dangling wrong-way-up from their father's tail. But what do you feel?
Awe? Enchantment? Joy?
Who has time for these, while stressing about shutter-speeds, aperture settings, composition and lighting?
I just thought I'd better warn you!