2020-05-21 – One of the regrets I had after our virtual dinner party on Tuesday was that I didn’t take any pictures. Yesterday, I took a bike ride on the North Branch trail (one of my faves) but sections of it were underwater because of the heavy rains we’ve been having. Again, no pictures.
I even thought of taking pictures of the flooding. But I kept thinking that I’d find a better shot further down the trail—until I realized that all the best shots were behind me.
People make fun of millennials for snapping pix of everything. They say they are substituting pix for actual experiences. I’m not sure that’s a valid criticism. I’m sure you can go overboard, but taking a picture is also a powerful way of looking at things.
When I started my blog, I decided I wanted each post to start with an image. But I didn’t want people to have to scroll down to begin reading the post, so I decided on the short and wide picture shape you see at the top of this post: 500 pixels wide × 150 pixels tall (with a margin for a frame).
This is far from the shape picture you get from a camera or your smartphone. It has to be cropped. But it affected the way I take pictures. It forced me to see the world around me in a different way. Taking pictures doesn’t have to be a way of avoiding the world. It can be a way to enhance your experience of it.
When I started this blog, I took these pictures all the time, but the excitement eventually tapered off and I started reusing old pictures rather than taking new ones.
That’s probably been a mistake. The images are as much a part of my life as the words I write. Sure, I could go overboard with picture taking, but I don’t think that’s as much of a risk as I risk by not using the opportunity to really look at what’s happening around me.
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