What’s the Point of Photography?

photography point.jpg

I’ve spent restless nights for the sun to come up so I could click a picture.

I’ve zoomed in far more than I should, just to get a clear shot of a waning moon as darkness engulfed it.

I’ve pointed my camera at many places, trying to land a perfect angle. I should have just gaped open-mouthed, instead.

Photography is addictive. I’ve got a great phone that takes stunning images, with a precise focus. Plus, it’s so fancy I need to flaunt it. And I also have a craving to capture scenic, yet uncommon, sights of everyday life.

That’s what makes me flip out my phone every time I’m at a restaurant. Or stop short in the street to click a picture of a witty billboard. It’s what makes me lean over pointy plants and hover over a blooming flower.

It felt therapeutic at first to scroll through photos and pretend I had more memories than I could remember. But then, I didn’t remember those moments because I never paid attention.

And as I went to the terrace this morning, I saw the sun pushing its way through dense clouds, illuminating the sky with orange rays. As the clouds lined gold, a balloon of joy erupted within me. And in an instant, I wished I had my phone in hand.

Without thinking, I wanted to freeze the moment rather than enjoy it. I wasn’t in the present but was thinking about taking it to the future.

It was sad. Nature had given me a glorious sight, and there I was my eyes clouded behind the veil of a camera lens. What’s the point of looking at something and not seeing it?

In truth, photography means nothing to me. I’m no professional, and I don’t intend to be.

I don’t have a fancy camera or the knowledge of perfecting lighting, angles, or aperture.
I shouldn’t mind sacrificing a few photos if it meant I could eat a meal while it’s still warm. It’s fine to stare at the moon for five minutes without panicking over an unfocused photo. And ok to look at the sky, calling out, “Bring me that horizon.”

Sure, I should still get a good photo or two of momos — because they’re too good to resist. But for me, photography is a hobby, and it shouldn’t get in the way of living my life.

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