“We are ceasing to see. Using our eyes to appreciate beauty is no longer enough. It always has to be documented for some other time—often resulting in an abyss of recordings. My first thought at a pretty sunset—where’s my phone?”
Make it stop!
Two from me.
First, on how it’s about documentation, but not necessarily BY you.
So it becomes important to document everything with quality too. It’s not enough to take photos of your food, restaurants need to provide a photographer to take a professional photo of your meal. It’s not enough to go on vacation, you need a professional to photograph you being on vacation. It’s not enough to have a kid, you need a photojournalist-style crowning shot. It’s not enough to play video games, you need someone to take Capa-like screencaps of you in the game.
And on our freakouts being tied to anxiety about our loss of our default editor, time. And how taking pictures != photography.
The anxiety is not new. What is new is the loss of our editor. If nothing can ever be deleted from the internet, mere survival is no longer noteworthy. We’re all looking into a future of billions of unedited images with no easy way of distinguishing keepers from discards. This is indeed scary.
It’s probably best that we distinguish taking pictures from photography the same way we distinguish using words from writing. Not everyone who uses a camera is, or intends to be, a photographer.* Many just want to take pictures to interact with the world.
It’s probably best to realize that photography is nothing BUT an interaction with the world.
From the last part of that article: “Once something becomes routine, the cameras get put away. After the novelty is gone, the choices are to either work for the really interesting photos or experience things without being filtered by the camera.”
If your experience of life is not filled with exploration and wonder (no matter how small or in whatever tiny way it can manifest) there’s other things wrong. The novelty will never be over, life is a constant state of change, no one will tire of documenting their experiences, their life. And, conversely, for those whose lives are a struggle to simply exist, documentation in terms of saying, “I was here, I saw this, I experienced this,” can be, and oftentimes is, necessary for survival.
The archive, and the eventual edit, if someone chooses to put in the work (since everything is automatically organized chronologically, timestamped, geolocated, published) is where the work may lie. It is still all work just the same.
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