Photography is my passion. Just like nature and hiking. All of these passions shaped me throughout the years and they all have an important role in who I’ve became. I’ve already written tons of posts about nature and hiking but there’s not much about photography on this blog.
Though I’m still far from being a professional and I’m not ready to share pro photography tips yet, this time I’d like to share some lessons I’ve learned. The lessons photography has taught me about life. Because there are quite some and they are important to me.
Anything can be beautiful
The first and simplest lesson is to realize how beautiful and interesting the world is. We are surrounded by so many beauties, but we often don’t notice them. When I see the world with a photographer’s eyes, I’m constantly looking for beauties. And once I started looking for them, I end up finding them. A peaceful scene. A colorful sunset. A sparkling raindrop. An interesting pattern. The play of lights and colors even on the most ordinary objects.
The more I get into photography the more often I notice that I see the world as a photographer even if I don’t have my camera with me.
All the small things
Photography has taught me not to forget to pay attention to the smallest things. A ladybird. A snowdrop. A butterfly. A shell. A spiderweb. A snail. A stylish lamp. A nice pen. A cute mug. They make me stop and think about all the small things to be happy about.
Pictures can be prettier than reality
But photography has also taught me that sometimes pictures can be prettier than reality. Not just because I can photoshop them to be perfect. But because I can choose the angle and the composition. I can choose to turn my back to the sun while taking the photo. I can choose to highlight a beautiful spot of an average landscape.
I often realize that good photographers can make things look good in their pictures. Whether it’s a plate of food, an interior of a flat or a foggy landscape, a good photographer can capture them in a way that they look appealing. Of course, this applies to cities, beaches, buildings, too. Have you ever been to a place that became a disappointment because you’ve seen too many perfect pictures of it? Then you know what I’m talking about.
Pictures can reflect experiences, but experiences are so much more
Pictures can look different than reality, and that’s fine because they are different. If you’ve ever seen a wonderful panorama from a high peak, you know that no picture can truly capture how it felt to look around from there. Good pictures can get close to reflecting the experience, but they are still reflections influenced greatly by the artist who creates them.
The moments I capture perfectly are the moments I lose
Another important lesson I’ve learned is that the moments I capture perfectly are the moments I lose. Because when I concentrate on capturing a moment, then I pay attention to the composition, the lights, the settings, the whole process. I pay attention to create the picture. I capture the moment but I don’t experience it. If I’ve done a good job, other people can experience it through my picture.
It’s just not possible to both capture and experience special moments. I enjoy both but I need to find a balance between them. I think it’s equally important to know when to take pictures and when to put my camera down.
The chances you miss may never come back
That time you sit down in the middle of a meadow covered by millions of wonderful wildflowers, stretch your legs, and have your snack amazed by the scene surrounding you. By the time you’re done, and start to get ready with your camera, the sun has disappeared and you have no chance to capture the colors of the meadow as beautifully as you’ve seen it 10 minutes ago. Does it sound familiar?
If you see a beautiful scene and you want to capture it, you better do it right away. Weather can change (“the mountain version”). Tourists can suddenly flood the scene (“the urban version”). Let me not even mention animals who will turn their back on you the moment you set your focus. 😛
Of course, if you want to enjoy the scene in the first place, then just be there and forget about your camera. Whatever is that you want to do, just do it. Maybe you won’t have the chance later.
Do you like photography? Any lessons learned?