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Let’s Put the Camera Down for a Moment

I haven’t got anything I’ve written recently, so I’m digging up this half-completed draft:

This is going to be a blatant contradiction to what I normally write, but bear with me. Think about the following statement:

Let’s put the camera down for a moment, shall we?

It’s not about the nature shots or trying to preserve a memory, it’s about the times when you pick up your phone or camera, or tablet and trying to record every living moment.

Let’s consider the hypothetic person who walks into a museum and all they do is take pictures of all the exhibits.

Another person is sitting at a fireworks display or a music concert, holding their phone, trying to “preserve the event.”

Answer me this: When are you going to watch either of these events (on your device) again?

I’m not saying you won’t, but the audio quality on it is going to be so bad, and the amount of shaking [from others knocking your arm] is gonna be so bad that it’s not gonna be anything worth watching.

The autofocus or low light performance of your phone/camera is likely going to be pretty darn bad that it won’t capture a fireworks show well.

And the museums of dimly lit displays are almost guaranteed to incur an unpleasant amount of noise on your shots. And when it BLURS you obsess about taking a clearer picture so you try again!

So these are three good examples to not to pull out your camera.

There are times, I’ll admit that are good for taking out the camera, and snapping a few shots. But never, ever, should it be taken to the point where every waking moment of your day is spent recording your life, and watching it through the 3 inch LCD screen of your device. [Unless of course you’re a paid professional photographer… but that’s a different story.]

My point is that you’re missing the essence of experience. You walk home the next day, and what do you have to show for it? You have a series of poorly taken photos or badly focused with poor audio videos that are remnants of something you didn’t actually experience in person. You were there in person, but you were not there to experience it, in person.

Yeah I understand it’s important for photographers like you and me to have your camera with you. I carry mine with me all the time (camera, not phone). But I don’t keep it out. Because at the end of the day, your memories have no meaning if you don’t have the experience to show for it.

So I remind you, have a sense of balance. Remember, that photographs are supposed to be your mental souvenir. And it should never be the core focus of your experience. [Unless you are out to take pictures, which of course, is another story. I’m just talking about the day-to-day experience.

Don’t always document.

Remember to live in the moment too.

Also, why would anyone want to see a museum exhibit, a fireworks show, or a music concert from the screen of their device. It is one of the ultimate epitomes of our “disconnect” in modern society.

Sorry this is a bit of a rant post.


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