|Photographers at Yosemite Falls|
Too often when my companion is driving and I am peacefully looking out the passenger window he will suddenly shout, “Carol! Get a picture of that!” Of what? I look around wildly while searching for the camera or cell phone. By the time I figure out what he is looking at and aim a camera at it, it’s too late for even a grab shot. I’m chagrined, he’s annoyed. Sometimes he simply snatches the camera from me and takes a photo himself, while driving at 55 mph or so. This is not a good solution.
Taking photos on the run just isn’t that important to me. I do enjoy carefully composing a shot occasionally. Most of the time, though, I prefer enjoying the experience, or taking time to sketch a plant or animal.
Last summer we organized much of August around seeing the total solar eclipse on Aug. 21. It was a wonderful experience, and I managed to get a fairly good photo of it. However, just as it reached totality, others around me gasped. At the time I was trying to compose my photo. I suspect that I missed the full “diamond ring” effect, and wish I had simply watched in awe as the eclipse proceeded.
Can my attitude be taken too far? I have a good friend who is a world traveler. She comes back with tales of taking safaris and climbing mountains, but without any pictures except some scenic post cards. She wants to concentrate on looking and experiencing rather than on taking photos. I wonder if she ever tries to recall some past trip and wishes she had used a camera rather than on relying on her memory. Like most people of our age, she must have memory lapses! Also, I would really like to see some photos she has taken herself rather than purchased.
Most tourists seem to rely heavily on photos. Busloads of camera-toting Asian tourists are a cliché, and every scenic overlook or art museum is clogged with people taking selfies and scarcely seeing anything but themselves.
There must be a happy medium. From now on I will try to make sure a camera is within easy reach, so I can at least make an effort to take quick photos. However, I will also insist on enjoying the views, not waste a lot of time on photographing them.
Copyright 2018 by Carol Leth Stone