This week my wife Renee will be 20 weeks pregnant with our first child. It seems like yesterday we found out she was carrying our baby and now she is already half way through her pregnancy. I can’t help but think about how fast time seems to fly by especially in this hi-tech, hi- speed age we live in. I am truly excited and can’t wait for our baby to be born so I can hold it in my arms, but a part of me wishes to slow time down. It’s not that I don’t want the future to arrive, I just want to truly appreciate and cherish right now.
A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of photographing this image below. The day prior I shot the exact same scene but the light wasn’t right. I returned the next day with Milo and some friends and we were grateful to have witnessed and photograph a truly incredible sunset.
After I captured this frame, I walked over to my friend Cameron and told him I was stoked and got what I had hoped to. With the sky still blazing overhead, I said ‘what should we shoot now’? thinking that we should hurry along to a different composition somewhere else in the quarry, making the most of the light. Cameron’s reply was the best thing I could have heard. He looked to me and said calmly “Let’s just stand here and watch it”.
He was absolutely right. For the next few minutes I just gazed up at the sky, looking around and truly taking in my surroundings. This is what it’s all about, being in the moment. I had definitely captured what I had wanted that afternoon but for some reason I had to keep fighting the urge to continue shooting or at least take a phone shot to put on Facebook. But why?!
Social media introduced me to photography and inspired me to try it for myself but it has unfortunately conditioned me into thinking that I need to share my experiences and my images in real time. We are encouraged to share the moment but in doing so we often miss out on truly absorbing it.
I see this happening everywhere these days. Go to a concert and all you will see is a sea of iphones in the air recording the show. At restaurants I see couples not looking each other in the eye but gazing down at their phones, young and old alike. Most modern camera’s, mine included, have built in wifi so we can shoot, send the image to our phones and upload to the world. I see a trend of impatience forming in our culture and I want out.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am not saying there is anything wrong with sharing moments with friends and family and there are so many benefits to be able to transfer data on the go, but as far as landscape photography goes, I almost feel it is counterproductive. Good things in life shouldn’t be rushed.
Over the last week I logged out of my main social media accounts. For 5 days I didn’t view or post images or update my status and I have never felt more connected to life. Real life.
I don’t want to come across as some kind of addict here but like many, I find myself several times throughout the day catching up on feeds. Browsing through pictures and people’s status updates to kill some time. And I guess that is exactly what it is doing, ‘killing time’. The one thing I want more of and here I am killing it!
After awhile all the images and posts start to look the same, I feel like I am almost desensitised to amazing art and even shocking news headlines. Ironically I find being connected online is anything but.
So my resolution is to slow down and absorb the moments in life that await me. With a baby on the way, I don’t want to be the parent who misses their child’s first steps because I was too busy looking down at a screen. I will be logging out more often from now on and catching up face to face. As far as photography is concerned, I love it and am enjoying it more than ever, but if I happen to photograph a unicorn under the northern lights, don’t expect to hear about it right away. I will be too busy taking in the moment 😉