How do you see the world? Some see it through routine. Some see it through the happiness of others. A lucky few see it moment-by-moment, as it unfolds in front of them.
Me? I see the world through my camera.
Some folks frown at me for this, as life should be experienced firsthand, without a camera in the way. Put the camera down and just be there. I don’t disagree with this view, but I also don’t entirely agree with it, either.
I have a wild obsession with photography. I get such a thrill out of securing that perfect shot. In fact there was a time when I enjoyed taking pictures more than going back and actually looking at what I had taken (which is probably why my photography didn’t really improve for many years). Now that I’ve forced myself to shine light on them long before they collect digital dust, I have acquired a similar rush at viewing those pictures.
I don’t think I even know how to simply *attend* an event anymore. I’m just not complete without my camera. And many don’t understand how taking pictures does anything other than detract from the event being photographed.
Yes, I enjoy being in the moment and experiencing my many adventures. But through photography, I enhance the event with those little dopamine hits that come from compressing the shutter. And I get the constant excitement of capturing the perfect expression, the riotous interactions, the beautiful candid moments that hide in blinks and boisterous mirth.
Best of all, with my pictures, I can relive my memories indefinitely. Through these 4×6 windows, I’m instantly transported to my past. I’m hopelessly nostalgic, and I romanticize my life. This sampling of all the best times propels me forward, anxious to make the future even better than the past.
The photographic itch keeps me on the move and only perpetuates my exciting existence. And I revel in viewing and sharing these digital scrapbooks.
I try to balance between seeing the world through a viewfinder and with my own eyes. In situations like the eclipse, I could have the camera on a tripod, shooting remotely while living the show sans equipment. Otherwise, I share my experience between my present and future selves, and that excites me to no end.
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