Our recent vacation (2100 miles of beautiful scenery and a wealth of memories) got me to thinkin’ about my role as a “photographer” a bit. I guess it’s time to admit that I am getting a bit obsessive about capturing moments. Sometimes I see the shot in my mind and try way too hard to recreate it for the photo. What I am missing out on is, essentially, living in the moment. Lugging two cameras and 4 lenses (plus a speedlight and my new $350 Bogen tripod…not carbon fiber either) I realized that I am definitely living on the line somewhere in between the real world of the moment and the creative world of the capturer. It’s a risky strategy no doubt.
I just can’t seem to let a moment go without an attempt to document it. At times I feel like I am trying too hard and it’s showing in the photos. The result is too many ‘posed’ and uncreative shots. I’ve also seen an increase in pictures where the lens choice was wrong, the depth of field or the lighting were off and the emotion stripped from the moment all because I am trying too hard to stage something and am not taking the time to think about the composition.
In whipping out the camera and trying to set up this picture of our lovely picnic looking up at the beautiful hoodos in Queen’s Garden at Bryce Canyon National Park, I missed the moment of pure beauty and togetherness we were experiencing. I stole from the silence by asking everyone to stop eating and pose for me. Heck-I even scared away this lovely and majestic blue jay from the neighboring tree with my pose requests and grunting as I tried to move my bulky body down to a squat to set up the self timer. I missed the moment.
Or did I?
Because now I have this lovely photo to remember that day, that hike and the yummy turkey and swiss sandwiches we had packed by the Bryce Canyon Lodge in preparation for our hike. Now I am reliving that moment over and over when I look at the photo. And I am sure, with time I will forget everything else that caused stress to set it all up.