16 December 2016

#Photography Fools and Public Pictures

I hate having my picture taken. It is anathema to me. I cringe on the inside. I sometimes can't help but flinch on the outside. My mother did not like having her picture taken, her mother did not like having her picture taken either. It is apparently hereditary.

I am thankful for the few photographs I have of my mother and my maternal grandmother. I will sometimes consent to being photographed --- mostly at the behest of friends and family who complain that they "have no pictures of me.." But neither of these things change the basic truth that I hate being photographed.
I will say that I have no issue with photography as an art form and appreciate its merits. I love the history of photography, the history of the development of the camera and the magic of early photographs. (I happen to collect daguerreotypes and large format prints.) 
Being that kind of geek, I eagerly took a course at uni to learn how to develop my own photographs. Except for the fact that I'm seriously allergic to the chemicals used to develop photos --- as I unfortunately found out during the aforementioned course --- I could see having my own darkroom in my home.
Living in an Age where cameras are ubiquitous and where (most) people seem to assume everything needs to be photographed relentlessly and posted onto social media has upon occasion proved a source of consternation. It throws people when you say "please don't take my picture". They think it's some vanity or affectation. It's neither. "How could you NOT want to be photographed?" they inquire.

Sad to say, our society is such that some people ignore my request. While I well understand there is not a legal expectation of privacy when in public, there is (or should be) a certain amount of respect for your fellowman. But humans can be animals! I stand my ground and draw a line at aggressive photogs. I've unfortunately encountered a few. Though tempted, I haven't punched anyone... yet.

I'm asocial. I don't like attention. I always seem to attract it, however. Regardless, I don't think I will ever be comfortable with being photographed. However, I've tried to become more open to taking pictures (of things) from a professional standpoint. Pictures can be helpful, I know, but it's not natural to me. I didn't own a camera, until I took that photography course.

Nowadays every gadget comes with multiple cameras. (Most of which I've covered with black electrical tape.) I accept that cameras are everywhere. I do not have to like it. This has nothing to do with how I look or being "wanted by the police" which are apparently the top two reasons for a person not desiring to be photographed. Ha!

If you've wondered why most of this blog is text, know that I mentally debate if a picture is necessary with every post I make. I'm trying to be more objective, but words were my first love. I'm a shaky novice with a camera.

I hope to become more proficient, to develop an eye. I hope to strike a balance on this blog where images become a graceful and welcome addition. (I created accounts on the major social media platforms, many of which are reliant on photographs, both to encourage my fledgling skills and protect brand identity.) It's a work in progress adjusting my frame of view. Bear with me.

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