Spotlight, Travel

Got No Time to Take a Picture, I’ll Remember Someday

I’m bad at taking pictures.

It’s not the camera, the camera is great. Not so nice I’ll cry if it’s stolen, but nice enough that I don’t understand all its features.

It’s not the software either. I was gifted a copy of Lightroom (still learning) and am a pro with GIMP. Well, as much as you can be a pro with something that’s harder to use than a rhino suppository.

I’m terrible because this camera is seldom in my hand when great things happen, and I rarely develop and publish my photos anyway. I’m a photo slacker.

Secretly, I just don’t care about pictures. I don’t know why. It seems like I should be ready to snap a picture anytime so I can share it with other people. But I never think of it.

Don’t I wish I had pictures?

Well, I do take photos… in my mind. I commit certain moments to a deep kind of memory where I can bring them up later (and share them in Confessions, soon). I express these pictures through writing and excited arm waving. It seems to work.

And it fills a need in my being, so I never miss taking pictures.

But if you asked me how I do this, I’m not sure I could explain. Luckily Satya Colombo can. He tells you:

How to Capture the Most Beautiful Images In the World Without a Camera

Satya is writer and adventurer traveling across Latin America. He’s also an inspiration to me. I have never met him yet I feel a kinship with him. I hope you check it out.

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13 thoughts on “Got No Time to Take a Picture, I’ll Remember Someday

  1. Beth says:

    I love my photography….but this is brilliant. Just brilliant. As a photographer, I have the opposite problem – I have to remind myself not to live my entire life through a viewfinder screen. And this is the best possible way I can think of to do that. Thank you.

      • Beth says:

        I think the two approaches work for different things. As you said, you can’t directly share your mental image with someone else. So in a “photography is how I express my creativity” way, this doesn’t work. But it’s very valuable in a “this is your life, don’t waste it hiding behind a camera every moment” way. I sometimes find myself thinking, “OH NO! I don’t have my camera – how will I remember this???” For that instance, this is perfect.

  2. Jen says:

    I’m wish you. I went through so much to have my kids and so I should document this on “film” (or these days in data), but I just never remember. But you do remind me that maybe I should be writing to them about the things that made us laugh, cry, get upset, and stare in amazement. It really is hard to laugh and take a decent picture, but I can type as I try to describe some of it.

    Thanks for the reminder.

    • You’re welcome Jen and glad it was helpful. Funny… if I was going to write to my kids I would focus on the times that made us laugh or stare in amazement. Crying and getting upset… I think they’ll get enough of that anyway :) But then, I’m not a parent.

  3. I’ve lost my patience for casual photography, as a generality. Yes, I still do it a bit, but I don’t normally keep a camera beyond the one on my phone with me. There’s a photography mindset I get into, very focused but receptive, and I want to be either in it or out of it (partially because when I’m in it, there’s a good chance I might walk into traffic trying to get a better angle). The rest of the time, memory is good enough – because if I have my camera out, especially when I’m with people, it can be like putting a window between myself and the world.

    Conversely, I find certain kids of shoots – mainly travel photography – to be very spiritual in a way related to genii loci. But some things you just can’t capture.

    One time I was on a beach in Estonia, alone and out shooting the smokey sunset and dusk, when I came across some stormcrows picking at a dead seal. I took a photo or two, then put away my camera and pulled out some cookies in my bag and started throwing those to the crows. 20 seconds later, I had at least a dozen crows flying around me in a circle, round and round and round, and but for their wings and the little lapping waves of the Baltic, it was completely quiet. And it was absolute magic, just as it was – a tenuous moment, unrecorded, but mine forever.

    • I know those moments. They’re treasures. Possibly the treasure.

      You have a talent for writing that you often don’t say much about, Kira. I always think of you as a photographer (as if that’s all you do?) but your words are really quite moving.

      And I agree that photography can be a direct channel into the genius loci.

  4. Haha — this is awesome. Thank you Drew — I have a big smile on my face reading these brilliant, insightful comments. Lots of love to you.

  5. Rua Lupa says:

    A mind like that would be great to see paintings come from. It would be cool to see such paintings as they tell a lot about the moment being depicted – more than a picture would in my thoughts.

    • I strongly agree. I think drawing/painting from the mind’s eye changes the scene dramatically. Sometimes for the better, sometimes the worse. I remember in drawing class I was strictly ordered to try drawing a certain project on-site by looking at it as I drew, and I ended up taking photos to take home instead. I loved how it turned out. It becomes more of the artist’s fantasy and less about interpreting what’s there.

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