Have you asked yourself why you click the shutter button, frame after frame? Why photography?
If you are shooting professionally, then photography is your bread and butter, of course this question would have been redundant. For the rest of us, we all shoot for all sorts of different reasons, some more personal than others. Some shoot to prove something to others, some shoot simply to join or fit into the crowd, some buy a camera because a camera is a cool technological gadget/gear, while some shoot to record memories. While many strive to improve and go all they can to produce that National Geographic level of photographs, they have lost sight of the important element that shaped up photography in the first place: shooting just for the fun of it.
All images in this entry were taken with Olympus DSLR E-5 and Zuiko lenses.
Jason Lioh, who was with me for shutter therapy this morning at Chow Kit. I wanted to convert this image to B&W, but realize the importance of the red lining on his lens. Hence the color remained. Heh !
Fisheye panning. Who says you can't pan with a fisheye lens?
I love how his shirt matches the wall, and his pants match the ground.
Mis-match of people and flag.
Drying laundry. Cross Process Art Filter applied.
Everyone sees photography differently. Some see it as a gear changing game, where they would change camera bodies and upgrade lenses more often than they change their underwear. Some see photography as art, or so they tirelessly convince others and their own selves so. They proclaim their philosophies and vision though their photography work, and would swallow you alive if you fail to see the art in their work. Some see it as a way to showcase their supremacy: I have bigger camera, longer lenses, and more expensive setup than you do, hence I am better, and above you. Some see it as a way to boost their ego: hey my photograph won that competition in that magazine last year. Or hey, my photograph won the international award (after hundreds of failed submissions). Many tried to prove something through unimaginable amount of money spent on gear and endless hours spent on workshops and photography talks. Everyone wants to be someone in this huge wide world of photography. Everyone wants to show that, look, I can shoot too, and I am damned good with my camera. Most photographers shoot for pride and recognition, it is a hard truth to admit. But how many really shoot, because they want to, and simply do so because they truly love shooting?
I would be lying if I said I shoot purely without the attachment on getting the "good feeling" when someone gives a kind remark on my photographs. After all, what is the point of loving one photograph, if twenty other prominent photographers think otherwise? The fine line between self pleasure is very thin, separating from yearning for acceptance and acknowledgment from the audience.
It comes with a cat.
Peeling it off.
Mother and child
Jason and his dying phone.
So why do I pick up the camera and wander the streets for shutter therapy sessions, again and again? I do not quite know the answer myself. However, I do know that, the feeling I have each time after shutter therapy sessions, was so good, it stayed with me for a long, long time. The feeling was a mix of a sense of accomplishing something important, being able to speak myself out freely, and making a difference. I know that feeling does not really make sense, but it felt so good, I want to do it again and again.
I shoot, because shooting makes me feel darn happy. I shoot, because I want to, and I love doing it. I may not produce the "award-winning" or National Geographic worthy photographs, but hey, to me, all my photographs are winners, because they are mine, I shot them myself, and I shot them my way. My photographs speak of me, for me, and my own vision.
Do share, what are your reasons to pick up the camera? What drives you to shoot?