To Take Or Not To Take

2008 07 31 033(photo by Flickr user shinyai

I am not good at photography. I usually enjoy watching others’ pictures on Flickr more than uploading mine. I have been struggling whether to pay $24.95 to upgrade my Flickr account for at least two months. In the past, I am really hesitant to take photos, as it costs much to buy films and develop them. Making mistakes will lead to a waste of money.

Several years ago, my brother bought the first digital camera in the family, but it didn’t encourage me to take photos. Although it doesn’t need films anymore, and it can save files online or in the computer, that camera is very big and heavy. By the way, my brother is good at buying heavy stuffs. My last laptop, which he bought, weighs 2.6 kg, for example. It seems to have many fancy functions I will never use, so I am still not interested in photography.

Taken by myselfLast year before the Hong Kong & Macau trip, I finally picked up my first digital camera, a Casio EX-Z75. It’s lighter, and it has a 2.6-inch screen. From Hong Kong, Macau, Budapest, Tokyo to Sapporo, I gradually manage to take more photos. I also learn to take a photo of me by myself. It is a necessary skill if you travel alone or if you don’t want to bother others, although it looks pathetic sometimes.

This time in Sapporo, on a bus ride to airport, I see a beautiful scene. I instantly look for my camera, but it goes away so fast that I fail to capture. I feel disappointed, but at the same time in a meta-analytical way, I question myself when I start to be addicted to taking pictures. Before I have a camera, I feel satisfied just to see many things by myself. Now with a camera in hand, however, I lose the pure pleasure of seeing things. Maybe I have spent too much time trying to record with technology, but not enough for simple appreciation of what in front of me.

Then I put down my camera.


22 responses to “To Take Or Not To Take

  1. hi! I liked the way you had written. It is simple..lovely…good luck..

  2. ha I definitely understand what you’re talking about. Being a digital camera addict myself, I know it’s really hard just to see something nice and move on.. I have to instantly capture it.

    Nice blog, by the way..

  3. ”Before I have a camera, I feel satisfied just to see many things by myself. Now with a camera in hand, however, I lose the pure pleasure of seeing things.”

    I know what you mean, i went on a trip a couple of months ago to York, which has a lot of historic buildings. I spent most of my day taking photos and didnt really enjoy myself as much as i would have if i didnt have my camera strapped to me all day.

  4. I love to have my camera handy to grab an unanticipated shot – but you’re so right that when the camera is not in hand, you appreciate the moment in a very real immediate way.

  5. I saw your blog on the front page of wordpress. I know what you mean- sometimes it is easier to enjoy what you are seeing rather than take a picture. I struggle with that sometimes. If I am at the beach, I get all worked up trying to get the perfect shot, and then I miss simple enjoyment of Creation. Practice taking photos of things you love- like a simple flower or something a bit easier. Then when the right AMAZING shot comes, you would have practice to capture the perfect moment.



  6. Well i would have to disagree, personally I want to record and save these memories so that I can enjoy them more than once.

    And yes it is adictive… But a lot of fun too.

  7. sweetangel16175

    hahaha same here,
    the same thing happened to me….
    i used to be soooo shy in front of the camera, but when senior year came, i said to myself, i wanna take my first picture by myself, and so i did, it turned out good, so i took the second picture, that turned out good, and so on. now all i wanna do is take pictures and i pose for them too… lol, i kinda feel as if i have been missing a lot by not taking pictures… i dont know, but it could be just me.

  8. being advanced with technology loses a lot of things huh.

  9. sweetangel16175

    i dont know if you should take the offer and join flicker, though. i dont have a flickr account, nor do i wanna have one. i think if you are gonna take more pics, i think you should go for it. i mean what if you computer breaks down and you dont have the cd to put it back up… there’s something to think about. but on the hand, 25 dollars is too expensive for just picture. but if you only have to pay it once, then its definitely worth it. i mean i think its a whole lot better than just taking pictures with film and developing the film, and then if they turn out bad you have to waste more money on redoing them, like you said. if you have to pay extra fees, then pssssssh forget about it.

  10. At its best, photography develops a sensitivity to the richness and subtlety of light and form. At its worst it encourages a greed to “possess” the visual world.

  11. I encourage you to buy a Flickr account and then make an attempt to upload a photo to it every day. Your photography skills will improve for sure.

  12. Photography is not just about wielding a camera it is writing poetry from within to be shared with the rest of the world .. photography my friend is wordless poetry.
    Unlearn photography.. imbibe pictorial poetry..
    Upgrade when you are ready ..Flickr is the Best.

  13. maybe sometime we just should put down our camera just to see and sense what is infront of us. then continue hunt photo again when we already satisfied of the pleasure of seeing things. cheers. -japs-

  14. I know the feeling, sometimes it becomes such an obsession to snap that you fail to appreciate what you’re seeing. It can also be draining because I’m never relaxed, I’m always looking for “the next good shot”

    My justification would be: When it’s something that could quickly be lost, then you must make the effort to get the shot. This could be a facial expression or view from a moving car.

    I also like to think that my desire to have a photograph is an expression of appreciation for a place or scene, as well as a public service because I am capturing a piece of history (however insignificant).

    But hey, do what makes you feel happiest!

  15. This is so true! I try to strike a balance when using a camera – there is definitely a risk of always being on the lookout for the next great shot… It’s so easy to develop an internal ‘viewfinder’ that stops you just enjoying what is around you.

  16. wow, great article. visit my site if u have time

  17. I think you shud pay the money for flickr. Why not invest in something you enjoy? If u really have come to appreciate photography which it seems you have, perhaps a few classes/lessons to enhance ur skill would be a worthwhile application of your hard-earned money. Just a thought. 🙂

  18. I also learn to take a photo of me by myself. Congratss! 🙂

  19. Photography is often about the disappointment of the missed shot…or the shot that isn’t composed or framed well. The real trick is to take lots and lots of pictures….all the time. The more that you take the more likely it is you will find some that turn out well and that you enjoy.

    I think you’ll find it becomes more rewarding that way.

  20. I am also struggling trying to decide whether to upgrade my flickr account. I love taking photos, and I have to admit that a small part of my brain is always on the look out for photos to post on my blog when I’m out and about!

    I have a terrible memory for details of trips I take and places I visit, so I find my albums of photos so valuable to remind myself of all my happy memories!

  21. Pingback: In the end … Flickr Pro « back from the world

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