Monday, 20 December 2010

Always carry a camera?

Whilst heading back from a meeting one chilly morning recently, I felt compelled to pull the car to one side of the road and get out to grab a few pictures of the view across the city.

In my bag, along with the day-to-day items I typically carry, I had nothing to make images with other than a point-and-shoot (my trusty, go-anywhere, Canon G9) and my mobile phone's built-in camera. Choosing the former, I quickly rattled off a number of pictures before beating a hasty retreat to the warmth and relative comfort of the car.

I also recorded some thoughts for Episode #2 of The Active Photographer podcast. It's worth checking out the show notes there, but for those of you who want to skip straight to the audio, you can hear it via the player below.

Episode #2 - Snapshots And Snooker:

This photo opportunity was unplanned. It was exactly that - an opportunity. I hadn't expected to see the hazy view from the top of the hill; if I had, my regular kit would have surely been packed in the car.

Sometimes, it's nice not to be weighed down by the high-end clutter of one's kit. It allows us to concentrate purely on the visual, on what's in front of us - undistracted by which aperture to set or how many different ways a particular lens can be exploited to effect. When we don't have the distraction of such technology, we are left to work simply within our means, making the best of the situation.

Of course, there's the old adage which speaks of always carrying a camera wherever you go. Do I adhere to this? Well no, not always... unless you count the fact that my phone has a built-in camera, which could always be put to use (although I don't consciously think to use it in the same way that I might if I have packed a camera in my bag or coat pocket).

At times like these (and a good few others, actually), I'm often heard to say 'You know what, I'll definitely carry the G9 with me all the time from now on.' In much the same way as drinkers profess 'I'll never drink again!' after a particularly heavy night. Easily said, but not so easily done...

In my own mind, snatching these 'golden picture' moments as they present themselves is a bit like racking up a tally of wins. I've now got a bunch of images to work with, which I'd never so much as thought about when I woke up that morning. As I describe in the audio, I have no agenda for them, but I'm sure they'll be useful somewhere down the line. Self-promotion, stock image sales, illustration during workshops... the posibilities are endless, and it'll be interesting to see where they end up.

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