With my favourite cameras, the moment I release the shutter button I feel…
Serenity. Everything is quiet, almost absent, I can’t even hear my own breath. I feel calm, detached from the every day and the mundane, but simultaneously more deeply connected, earthed and rooted to the place I’m in.
Escape from everything else in the world. Whether using a viewfinder or a screen, I’m engaged and immersed in the four corners of that rectangle, that frame of my own choosing. Nothing else matters, nothing else really exists, this is about as pure and entire as escapism gets.
Time stand still. Photography has many magic tricks, maybe the greatest one being able to capture a moment forever, whether on film or in pixels. But in addition, when I squeeze the shutter I also lose all concept of the relentless rush of time. It doesn’t so much stand still, but dissolve completely.
Excitement at what the photograph will look like. I have a preview of the image on screen or in the viewfinder, but it doesn’t give the complete picture. I don’t know how the irreversible final image really looks until it’s on my computer screen. That anticipation is exciting, and begins at that moment I’m poised and about to fire the shutter.
Relief that I can exhale and inhale again. Mostly unconsciously, I hold my breath when I take a picture. Partly out of habit to reduce any possible camera shake, and partly to somehow still the world and lose myself in it further. So it’s a relief after the shutter fires to realise I’m alive and still breathing.
How do you feel when you release the shutter?
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