My unfather-in-law, Dwight Johnson, who I have mentioned a number of times, is a photography buff. He was always taking photos of the family and of stuff. It was to the point where I sometimes felt he wasn’t really experiencing the event or scene, just recording it for future sharing or memories.
Now I am a photographer and have Flickr and facebook and twitter and a digital camera and an iPhone. Next thing you know I am seeing things the same way. I am wanting to both experience and record the event and I want to share it.
But I always make a point to experience it first, I want to know what it is I am recording. Last night for example we had incredible thunderstorms coming in from the west at sunset. I had to get out in the backyard and take the pics right then or it was over. I experienced the wind, the humidity, the wildly flying birds being blown about. I experienced the clouds taking shape, the light moving around the edges, the rising mountains and deep crevices of the clouds and the flashes of lightning. In some ways I feel like I experienced it even more intensely because I had my camera in hand. I was anticipating, waiting, watching, feeling changes happen.
But I know it is a different type of experience than simply looking at something. But overall I feel blessed being able to share the visual world I experience with others so I am not sure I would change a thing.
Drawing and commentary by Marty Coleman of The Napkin Dad Daily
Quote by Max Frisch, 1911,1991, Swiss architect, playwright and novelist