I’ve given many reasons for why I enjoy photography and why I started taking pictures, but perhaps the most obvious reason has never been stated. That reason is because I’m lazy. I’ve been trained as a journalist and as a writer to take down all of life’s details and turn it into an article or a story, something to perhaps educate or entertain people.
Although I still take down the occasional note when I visit places, I’ve gotten lax and found it’s easier just to document something, and then refer to the picture if I want to make any further notes.
Maybe that’s not the right reason to take photos, but it’s just a conclusion I came to recently.
I found this comment (which I thought was interesting) on a website showing some of Julius Shulman’s photos:
Ken Carpenter (ken_carpenter) wrote:
When I read his (Julius Shulman’s) remark about "taking a 1000 photos and then, simply selecting the best, I smiled from ear to ear! I agree that digital is a brilliant concept and, has its place. But to me, photography has become more of an "Exercise in Deletion", rather than a creative art form. When Alfred Steglitz stood for 4 hours in the snow, until the image came to HIM.........THAT....is photography!
I sooo agree!
An excerpt from Michael Palin’s New Europe book (pg 125):
“Away from the parade ground there is much letting down of hair. Stalls have appeared under the trees in the centre of town, a Ukranian musical group is playing heart-rending melodies and, as in Chisinau yesterday, it’s the seventy-year-olds who lead the on-street dancing. I watch mesmerized as an old woman reveals a mouthful of monumental gold crowns as she’s twirled round and round by an old man in a suit, who a moment ago had been a lovely figure sitting on a bench.
In the West, all this would be recorded, filmed, photographed. Looking around the crowd here in Tiraspol I can’t, apart from our own, see a single camcorder, mobile phone or digital camera.
They’re just watching.”
Sometimes I feel like I must have ADD, because I often find I can't enjoy going on excursions without taking along my camera and shooting even the most mundane things to keep myself constantly amused. Sometimes I get nervous because I wonder if I'll have time to see everything and document it, instead of just looking around with my own two eyes and just enjoy the moment.
Since the invention of the digital camera and camera phone, I'm sure I'm not alone in this. It's like an addiction I'm not sure I can shake. Of course I don't take a camera everywhere with me, but when I do, I feel so compelled to use it all the time. The only time I don't necessarily care about taking pictures is when I am focused on shopping. Even then, sometimes I'll take the occasional picture if I come across anything unusual that I don't necessarily want to buy.
It would be interesting if they had support groups for this - Photobugs Anonymous. "Hello. My name is -------- and I have a photo addiction."
I probably wouldn't feel so guilty if I could at least make a living off of it, but so far I've only sold two pictures (though not for cash), and mostly just do it for fun, rather than profit. I think if I had to make a living from it, it would probably cease being fun and just be too much hard work.