Putting Photography In Focus: What is Our Life, Face Pressed Against a Lens?

When you are behind the camera, why are you taking the picture?

Is it because you want to share what you see with others? Is it for you to snap a shot you will always remember? Is it to transform what you’re seeing into an edited and artistic piece of work? What is life through the lens?

Photography is an extremely intriguing art form. For me, photography is evidence of experience. Put it this way. About two months ago, I went dolphin watching in Marco Island. We were on a yacht with many other tourists and fanny packs. Riding the ocean waves and fleeing to the right side of the boat had a dolphin breached the surface. It is insane how excited people get over a wet fish. Anyway, I had my camera hung around my neck and I would almost give my left leg to snap the perfect picture of the fishies. Engulfed in this urge to capture the greatest picture, I never authentically was able to see a dolphin.  I was so stressed out and focused on capturing the dolphin through the lens, I couldn’t focus on seeing the dolphin through my own, vintage eyeballs.

Isn’t that weird? How you will sacrifice the moment for something that will last you until the full future?  Living in the moment is an extremely important part of humankind. But photography brings out a whole other element of this. Capturing the moment is more important than really authentically living it through your own eyes. Living life through the lens makes it possible to live for a moment later and with others.

Another intriguing part of photography: people love living this way/practicing photography. I know I do. My camera is only good enough for college parties and probably not extreme and appreciated artwork, but it doesn’t matter. I think within a photograph, we are able to capture so much more pieces of the moment then could ever be contained in our minds and expressed to our friends and loved ones. Their is something so silent and raw about sharing memories through images. And I think we are willing to sacrifice that authentic, real moment for a raw and evocative moment, later.

If you appreciate this post, check out the f/go Rambler blog. Interesting perspective on life behind the lens.

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Author:bechaffee

University of Saint Thomas graduate. Minnesota-bred and happy to talk about the weather any time you’d like! Strongly believes any situation can be bettered by a slice of generously buttered toast or Phil Dunphy. Would get arrested to touch Justin Timberlake’s face. Always trying to be a better person by not wishing horrible karma on people driving slow in the fast lane. Hear more: @twitter @instagram

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