“Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still.”
One journey that has come to a standstill for me is my journey in photography. This was one path that I never regretted taking but I know that the time has come for it to move in a different direction. I have come to realize that in the past year I have become a lost soul amongst thousands of real and aspiring (yet not always succeeding) photographers.
6 years ago, my husband and I decided to get our first DSLR camera – a 3rd hand 300D. At the start of every new hobbyist’s life you fantasize about acquiring the newest body in the market and the newest lens. Initially we were ok with sharing the camera but after a couple of months we knew we had to get separate bodies since we were still both eager “newbies”. Slowly but surely we were able to buy the cameras and lenses that we wanted. Through the years, as my knowledge about the craft increased, so did our gear and the weight of our carry-on luggage. It was exciting then. I honestly really enjoyed this hobby until our Taiwan trip early this year when I realized that only insane people would wake up at 3 in the morning during a trip, argue with the guide because we weren’t in the “proper” rock/water area thus needing to do everything again the following day. When did the competition start? When did the fun stop? When did traveling and enjoying where you were become secondary to having, needing, dying for the perfect shot? Don’t get me wrong, I admire these people for what they do. But somewhere along the way I stopped being one of them. I stopped being the girl who once, despite her bleeding leg (cuts from rocks) would continue on just to get a shot. When did my passion die out? When did it differ from my husband’s? We look at pictures taken by our friends and he looks at them with pride and excitement while I say “Rocks? Again?” and just end up feeling envious of my friends who use their iPhones as cameras and don’t feel the need to bring the big DSLRs. I miss the life when all we had was one camera each, when shots were simpler, when time/the high tides/low tides/presence of clouds/movement of the clouds/color of the sky/time of the sunsets and sunrises didn’t matter that much. I miss not having to watch over my husband’s bag when we travel. I miss being able to take a shot and just appreciate it without having to criticize my own picture. I miss traveling just for the sake of traveling and not for the sake of coming back with great shots. I miss not having to worry about the weight of our hand carries. I miss not having to roll my eyes each time I see horrible pictures taken by so-called photographers from social networking sites. I miss the day when my husband didn’t always feel the need to tell me “take pictures!!! sayang!!!“. But more importantly I miss the day when I thought taking pictures was the “d*mn-best-hobby” anyone could ever have. My husband would tell me that maybe I just need a new pastime. But I love photography, just not the way it has become.
So now it has come to a full circle. I look at the thousands of pictures that I’ve taken through the years and know that love of capturing what I see is still somewhere inside me. I just have to go back to the basics and hopefully find that joy again. And once again I await the arrival of new cameras – this time the smaller, more compact DSLRs that will suit my life’s simple needs.