I Shutter to Think About It

7 10 2015

A few days ago, this greeting came to me and it got me thinking about why I love my Nikon.

It’s heavy.

I have to adjust multiple settings.

I have to manually change (heavy and expensive) lenses.

It is not convenient.


Of course, I could take photographs with my very handy phone. It records images and, with some additional gadgetry, can get really excellent shots. I don’t do it because, for me, photography is not simply about capturing an image. No, when I take photographs, it’s about the whole experience of the activity.

Picking up one of my DSLRs is an intentional action, like one might make to settle into the driver’s seat of a fast car, instead of the family auto. Even though it gets me where I need to go with comfort and ease, there’s no exhilaration taking a sweeping curve in my sedate sedan. Give me that same road, with my butt six inches off the ground, put a clutch at my left foot and a gearshift under my right hand and . . . um . . . ooh . . . sorry . . . I fell into my twenty-year-old self, for a moment.

It’s that same desire for a remarkable experience that makes using my (not-convenient, not-a-phone) camera worth the effort.

Don’t think I am a Luddite; I’m a big fan of things that make everyday life easier. I do not miss the experience of hand washing my dishes in the sink or carrying water from the pump in a bucket. It is, however, the very experience of tromping around my yard, macro lens at the ready, waiting for the right angle of the sun, the momentary pause of a butterfly or bee, the choice of exposure, and the peering through the viewfinder – experiencing my surroundings in a completely immersed and intentional manner – that makes taking a photograph interesting and important to me.

Last lily 10-7-15

There are things we must accomplish, so we choose the most expeditious path. Not everything falls into that category, though, and for those, I choose to maximize the experience.  Enjoy the ride.



2 responses

8 10 2015
Carol Johnson

I’m with you, and for the same reason I like a real book in my hands and not a Kindle or other electronic reading device. It’s just not the same.

8 10 2015

Great corollary, books, Carol. Thanks.

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