A major lure of photography for me is that it allows me to wander through fields, woodlands and ancient churchyards, whilst barely seeing another soul.
The experience of hunting for compositions I find beautiful is a very personal, solitary, and perhaps near spiritual experience.
This is why the thought of street photography – or even worse, street photography with a group of other photographers – fills me with horror. It’s quite probably the most unappealing form of photography I can imagine.
Even out walking in less rural areas, which I do occasionally, depending where I am and what time is available, I wait until no-one is around to crouch and capture that lone feather or decaying pine cone.
I don’t want anyone to disrupt that precious, almost meditative flow.
Interaction with anyone else would burst the bubble and sour the experience. It would be an invasion of my space and time.
Plus, heaven forbid, if it’s another photographer, I may have to engage in gear small talk, something I really dislike too (well, any kind of small talk, especially with someone you have no feeling for, and will never see again in your life).
“Ah you have the Canosonic LD543210, that’s the one with only a 6MP sensor, not the 8MP sensor of the follow up model, the LD543210A, which also featured 27 AF points, not 24…”
Seriously, it’s just a cheap old camera I happen to like using.
This may all make me sound something of a curmudgeon.
But I’ve photographed for long enough now to know what I need from it, and why.
And, in the capturing phase at least, that doesn’t involve other people. In fact it requires the exclusion of them.
How about you? Do you prefer to photograph alone, with no-one else around? Are other people a central aspect of your enjoyment of making photographs? Or do you not mind either way?
Let us know in the comments below (and don’t forget to tick the “Notify me of new comments via email” box to follow the conversation).
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