In praise of photography
I love photography.
I bought my first proper camera when I was 16 so that I could have memories of my school prom, but before this I had always enjoyed using a disposable one and loved looking through the photos when they had been developed. The camera I saved up for when I was a teenager was a digital one, meaning that I could see the photos straight away rather than having to wait a week for them to be ready - less exciting but really useful! I began to appreciate not only the finished result of the photo, but the process of taking it in the first place. My camera was not a really expensive one with a lot of settings, but I still enjoyed experimenting with different ways to get an interesting picture. Since then my enthusiasm has grown and grown and now I really see it as an art form!
I am definitely not alone in my passion for photography. I come from Winchester, an historical city in the South of England, and there are always a lot of tourists in the summer months. As I walk or cycle down the street, I often find myself pausing to offer to take a picture of a family standing in front of the cathedral, or dodging to avoid being in the way of a photo. I feel proud to live in such a picturesque city, and I know that if I were a visitor there, I would be getting out my camera too!
But I think we have seen a change in the type of photography going on around us. The current trend in Britain seems to be for ‘vintage’ cameras - big bulky ones that would once have seemed old-fashioned, or ones that only take black and white photos, or old film cameras. Perhaps we’re all getting tired of the millions of samey photos uploaded onto Facebook every day, and we’re looking for something a bit different. Whether we take photos simply to capture the moment, to show our friends or as a form of artwork, most of us would agree that photography is a brilliant thing.
The funny thing is that, despite my passion for photography, there are moments when a scene is so beautiful, or a moment so special, that all I can do is put aside my camera and enjoy life in the present.