Full auto pic with an old IXUS

Why I take pictures

When it comes to taking pictures I am an amateur.
It was only six months ago that I dared to work with another setting than full auto. A few weeks later I discovered the switch to manual focus. I don’t even know whether to call them pictures or photographs and whether I take them or shoot them. But I like to go out with my camera and just play. I don’t know why but I’ll try to put it into words as I type.

At first I used them as a backup for my once failing memory. I lived from blackout to blackout. Until I discovered that pictures could me help to reconstruct events. They were supporting my memory, at times they were the only memory I had. So I took pictures to bootstrap myself and gather evidence that I am still here. Along that struggle I discovered beauty. When holding a camera I was looking with different eyes. Sight was becoming more susceptible to details, light and contrasts, composition. Beauty emerged all around me. Even in the middle of winter, there was an invincible summer feeling.
Intense yet soft, innocent joy.

At that time I also discovered the balming effect of quiet solitude amid nature. My rambling mind would stop. Breathing became normal. When you photograph you channel all your attention to a narrow aim on what there is to see. Only eye, breath and amazement.

When I tend to get overwhelmed, I take my camera and slide into a comfortable bubble. I aim, hold my breath and things just balance out.

Most people might think one takes pictures because one likes to have pictures. Like a screenshot of an event or a imprint a loved one. The more I take pictures the more I feel that this end-result is only a byproduct. Having a good picture feels great but the real joy lies in living those moments right before you go hit that button.
Looking around in wonder, framing and aiming, focus and breath.
Finding beauty, bringing peace into focus, reclaiming inner calm. That is why I like to go ‘click’.

Slowly we grow
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