Photography is for some people, a natural skill. For others, it takes years of learning, education and capture of knowledge to acquire such perfection in photography.
Since the day of instant Polaroid pictures (which was the big thing in my young days) I have always been fascinated in how we can simply capture that one image and keep it as a still memory forever. Some people still find it magical that we can do such things with technology today and go from having a huge contraption, to a small handheld point and shoot or even your smartphone. Technology is improving so fast that seeing life depicted through a lens is not only a hobby but can also be a full-time job if you have the time, patience and skills to make something beautiful out of a simple point and capture.
So, going on a more personal note, when did I find my love for cameras? Well, for me, it started with insta pics/Polaroid pictures that people just loved to shake around once it came out the other side of the camera. The amount of times I would just randomly take pictures of my dog, my room, the garden or even just me taking a selfie…only downfall back then, was no screen to see if your shot was good….Just point and guess and hope for the best. Thinking back on it, I must have been around 5 – 7 years of age when I found my love for cameras. Whenever we went on holiday, I would grab hold of those quick develop cameras that required you to scroll the film after every shot….Oh the noise those contraptions used to make, if anything today made a noise like that, you’d see people losing their minds!
Moreover to the topic above, every time I got a camera from my parents, i’d just use it on anything and everything, like even images that didn’t make sense or look beautiful. You could say it was more of an addiction than anything else. When you look at it like that, whenever I was handed an image capturing device, I would just instantly have that urge to glance through the viewer, focus the image and click to my heart’s content. Looking back at it now, I do feel sorry for my parents, because they just went along with it and got loads of throw away cameras, instant picture films for the Polaroid that the house must have looked like a complete mess by the time I’ve had my hands on a camera for at least a few hours.
So, moving on from my nostalgia trip, after years of playing around, I guess I just matured and realised that while playing around, I did get some good images. Obviously back then with my age, I wasn’t at all bothered about specs such as the contrast, brightness, sharpness, focus or even shutter speed of a camera. I just took it as a chance and took every cool image I could without realising I could have done so much more with it. Well, that leads to what eventually interested me into photography.
What keeps me interested in this digital world of photography? Apart from being able to capture a still image and keep it forever, it was what I could do with something that was presented to me. It could be anything like a city street, an alley behind a building, an animal or even just some country side, but being able to spot the beauty that one location can hold is what inspires me to keep doing this line of work. The exploration that is presented with one image is something that I just adore. I’ve always been a fan of taking something very bland or even basic and then either manipulate it organically or even digitally through effects or filters. It almost feels like you are in a completely parallel world to what you’re in at the moment. It’s something that wakes up your brain, to look around and take in those tiny details that could very well change your outlook on something or someone.
For me, personally, it changes more than just the image at hand. It changes how I think, how I discover and how I go out my comfort zone to get that one special or unique image that I know will stick with me for a lifetime. Along with the beautiful images and skills, it comes with as an activity. If helps take out the stress of work, family issues or even just stress from not doing anything. At least that way it gives you a reason to get off your bum and do something unique.
This is my view on photography and the beauty it can capture. I hope you enjoyed this article, maybe it has inspired you to take some images, whether it’s on a throw-away camera, Polaroid, hi-tech DSLR or even your smartphone. Get out there and take some pictures!