Apr 13, 2008


I drove out to the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve. From a distance it looked like a monstrous chemical spill. The poppies were everywhere, inside the reserve and outside of it. Once I got there I was surprised how many people were there. Fortunately the many windy trails did a pretty good job dispersing the crowd. Of course everyone and their grandmother were carrying cameras. Me too of course: just another camera wielding lemming.

I was pondering about the role of the camera in hour leisure time. There seems to be this pressure to be having "fun" in our free time. The standard monday morning questions in the office are: "What did you do this weekend?" or "How was your weekend?". To the latter I usually reply "short" and that successfully diverts the course, but there is this lingering sense that I'm not utilizing my free time to the fullest, I should have gone bungee jumping, ran a marathon, gone to the beach, to a party, something. Vacations are the same thing in overdrive. If you are out of the office for a week or more you better be traveling or you are a some sort of loser. When we travel there is the pressure to take photographs to prove that we were there, having fun. Sometimes I feel the recording our fun is getting in the way of experiencing it.
I like driving around on little 2-lane highways. It's very relaxing. I saw some sagebrush that from a distance looked like a flock of sheep standing extremely still. Then I realized they were a flock of sheep standing extremely still. They were grazing.


Fred said...

Your comment--"Sometimes I feel the recording our fun is getting in the way of experiencing it."--struck a chord. I used to carry a camera and take numerous photos when on a trip. After awhile I found that I couldn't remember the places I had visited.
I'd take out the slides and didn't recognize the place.

I left the camera at home and find I now have a much better memory "picture" of where I went. While at a viewpoint or a particular scenic spot, I see many people drive up, jump out, take a few phots, get back in, and drive off. I suspect that was me with a camera.

Vanda said...

Yes indeed. The camera has the tendency to became a barrier between the photographer and the world in more ways than one.