Taking a photo is harder than it looks

— at least, taking a photo one thinks is worth taking . . .

I understand people enjoy simply keeping snapshots of their lives, but I often feel like there’s nothing truly worth capturing on film, or as is the case with a digital camera, as sequences of zeros and ones. There’s just something so . . . vapid, I guess, in taking photographs without meaning. When I’m taking a photo, I try to frame something I find intriguing, something unusual or captivating; often, I want to take a photo but I feel like there’s nothing so special that it needs to be seen. I’ve tried looking for the unusual in the ordinary, I’ve tried seeing the beauty of the most mundane. I don’t. There’s nothing exciting in something so plain you see it everywhere, all the time. That doesn’t need to be captured on film, it’s everywhere already, and often forgettable.

It’s the ephemeral I seek to capture, something we only see for a moment or longer. I want to capture the essence of that strangeness, that bizarre feeling that something magical is happening and it will soon disappear, never to be seen again.

So, I reach for my camera, or my journal.

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