I’ve blogged before about the value to a writer of taking photographs, not just how they are good to refer to or use in a blog, such this one, but how it also makes you look at the world a little differently. Following on from last week’s blog, writing makes you an observer, I feel that taking photographs enhances that experience. However, in this blog I’m making the case for carrying a camera i.e. an actual device who’s raison d’etre is taking photographs.
On a recent ski trip with seven other guys I was amazed that I was the only one carrying a camera. Everyone else would take out their phone every now and then to take a snap. I would add that none of us would class ourselves as exactly young anymore – let’s put it like this we were all adults when the first, brick like, mobile phones became available. So we all have carried a camera (and yes, they would have been loaded with actual film). So am I a dying breed?
Maybe it is the writer in me that persists with an actual camera. I like the fact that this object is specifically designed with the sole purpose of taking photographs (OK, it does shoot video as well). And just to prove I’m not a complete Luddite I love the digital camera, being plenty old enough to remember when they weren’t. It is so much more useable and viewable (is that a word?). Just to prove the point I have boxes of holiday slides (yes, slides) that haven’t seen the light of day, or a projector, for many, many years. In fact, like I guess most people who took slides, they were only looked at once or twice immediately after the holiday or event in question.
I do take the odd photo on my phone, for facebook, twitter etc. or when I have no choice because I haven’t got my camera with me. But, bottom line, I simply don’t like taking photos on a phone. Somehow I don’t think their ‘real’ photos. It’s a phone not a camera. I don’t expect to make phone calls on my camera. They’re throw away photos, there’s little care in them. When I use a camera I know it is designed for that job alone. It feels right in my hands as if it knows what it is and loves doing that job. I make more effort to compose the photograph, which when viewed later makes for a much more engaging and pleasurable result and memory. It’s not just a ‘snap’, I have put care into it. I’m not saying you couldn’t take that same care on a phone, I saying you just don’t. It’s as if all its other functions get in the way and therefore we don’t take it seriously as a camera.
Maybe it’s me, my age? Or maybe it’s the writer, observer, me (last week’s blog again) that feels that extra care is worthwhile. Writing makes you see the world a little differently, bringing it into a sharper focus, which is exactly what an actual camera does. So if you’re a writer, or just someone who loves taking photographs, put the phone away and give your camera a chance to show what it can do.
As always comments are welcome.