Here's a small funny thing I've noticed while working with my Sony/Zeiss setup during the year. When I meet people that are not truly photography enthusiasts but who are interested enough in it so that they start asking details about my camera setup, they are most often impressed about it as it is a professional setup. The talk usually goes that I 'must get great photographs since I'm using such an expensive setup', or something similar – which is, of course, a generalization that doesn't necessarily hold true as anyone keen on photography surely knows. But then a funny thing happens when they hear that my camera doesn't have 'a zoom ability' (since I'm all prime). First they get a bit confused, since this surely sounds like a step back if one is used to a 'point & shoot' cameras. But then when I tell them that some of the lenses doesn't even have autofocus (Loxia 2/35 & Loxia 2/50), they often get uneasy and sometimes even suspicious. The result often is that they end up seeing me as a bit mad and feel annoyed to continue the conversation. Surely I have bought into some very odd (and expensive) idea as every camera naturally has autofocus and zoom. This often makes me smile a bit...
If you're reading this blog post the chances are that you're a photography enthusiast like me, and can probably relate to this former experience. Most of those people who do their photography with a 'point & shoot' camera or with their mobile phone 'just want to get the pictures and be done with it'. For them camera needs to work with a push of a button, and if possible, also without too much walking around with their foots. Don't get me wrong, I don't want to undervalue their photography as this gets the job done and most of them will create important memories. But if you're a photography enthusiast the whole process and intention of photography is different.
For me, photography is a way of seeing my own life from a different point of view. Like everyone else in developed countries, I'm too bombarded with work, tasks, deadlines, routines and all kinds of other things that make it difficult to experience the real life. There's always another task waiting around the corner and sometimes I feel I'm just a mouse in a running wheel. Add in some economic pressure, ever reaching neoliberal competition and general disorder of our time, and the result is that days just pass by without me able to seize into them in a proper way. But the photography is really the counterforce to all this in my life. With the camera I'm able to suspend the life and see it in another context where there is great beauty in it as well. Little vanishing moments and marks left by the light of life are captured into frames which constantly remind me that 'this really happened and I was there to witness it'. With a help of photography I've been able to appreciate my life better than what was possible before – and this is very important to me as I have a tendency to see the negative before positive.
This is also the reason why want to invest into it with my time and money, as it enables me to swim against the current with trust. I don't 'just want to get the pictures done' as the photography is so much more to me; it is a way of life - and I'm sure there are many others out there thinking along the same lines. I took today's picture at some summer evening few weeks ago when Aura and Leo from neighbor were trying to catch some shore perches with their fish net. For me it's a beautiful image that tells something about the curiosity and the love of adventure related to childhood. Setting sun paints the scene with a golden light and the reflections from the water adds a certain graphical element to the picture. All this adds up that the life is beautiful. Don't let it pass.