I seem to be in constant paralysis. Do I take a picture, or do I not?
“To be or not to be, that is the question. Whether tis nobler in the mind …” This monologue from Hamlet pops into my mind every time I debate two options. Probably because its the only monologue I have somewhat memorized other than the poem “Oh Captain My Captain”.
I have found that at times I don't want to take a photo, but do because I notice that everyone else is. I feel I am somehow “missing out” by not taking a photo.
There is a part of me that wants to share this moment, a beautifully colored building, the patterns I see as I look at the rocks below my feet, and the snow that blows sideways outside my window this morning. I want others to see these things so that others feel at least a minuscule amount of joy or inspiration that I find in them. There is joy in that.
However, why is it that I feel that I am missing out if I don't take the photo everyone else is taking? Often what people photograph is beautiful and/or monumental. But why don’t I want to photograph it initially? Why are others taking the photo?
I find at times I also am careful not to focus so much on getting a “good” photo that I no longer enjoy the moment, so that I don't get frustrated at the man who keeps stepping in my way or at the too-small focal length of my lens.
My greatest pleasure in photographing is photographing without much forethought. To photograph what is there without trying to control it (including the man who steps in “my” shot). I most like to use it as a processing tool to help shape how and what I see in front of me rather than as a tool in which to, arguably, “capture the moment” or to shape beauty.
Any thoughts on why people photograph what they do? Especially in relation to tourist locations. It’s a conversation on my mind.