Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tyranny of the Camera

Tourists' tripping the shutter can seriously damage the enjoyment of a beautiful scene. Or so thinks Nick Trend writing in Saturday's Weekend Telegraph.
Mr Trend, who seems to have "borrowed" the bulk of his argument from a blog written in 2009, argues that it is best to remember views seen on your travels in the mind's eye. He says that seeing life through a viewfinder and remembering it afterwards through pictures diminishes the reality of the experience.
Until about 1961 my father was a very keen photographer. It was only after his death in 2010 that I found out how keen he'd been when I discovered many previously unseen albums. He largely seems to have used a folding camera, I have speculated it may have been the impossibility of keeping up with his sister's Leica ownership which turned him away from photography. In later life he often said to me:
"It is better to remember things in your head as the colours are better."
Whenever I took pictures of him, and latterly of his grand-children he was always very keen to display them, which seems at odds with his views about retaining images in the mind.
At first when I started to pursue photojournalism as a career he was fairly against the idea, but when I landed a job on a weekly paper seemed to come round. Even then he said I'd have been better off going into TV news, despite the fact that in the last 20 or so years of his life he didn't own a TV.
So perhaps there is something in this not viewing life through a viewfinder - I'd certainly save a lot of money.............

No comments: