A friend of mine asked me the other day what goes through my head when I take a photo. Am I experiencing the moment, or am I caught up in thoughts about how to take a photo?
It’s a very good question, and I’m sure every person who takes photos has a different opinion.
I believe it largely depends on the skill of the photographer, and how in tune to his or her environment they are while photographing.
Lets’s say a beginner/intermediate photographer is shooting photos of his friend’s band. He’s not that good yet, and he’s not that fluid with his camera. BUT since he is still new to taking photos, he is in flow, experiencing the moment. Because he is enthusiastic about learning, and is pushing his knowledge of his camera.
A more advanced/ professional photographer shoots photos of his friend’s band. His keen intuition of the performance, and his fluid and complete knowledge of his camera, allows him to be completely present and experience the moment with the camera as just a frame he experiences it through.
On the contrary, if the professional decides to take a better or more complicated photo, and goes through a whole range of compositional tools in his head in order to do so, he may get too caught up and forget the moment. If the beginner gets too distracted by a too complicated camera, he too will lose the moment.
It goes without saying that the best art would come from individuals engaged in flow aka “Optimal Experience”. The question is whether or not individuals should sacrifice the present experiencing of the moment for a possibly better image.
Which leads to the idea of being a conduit.