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    • As photographers, how many times have we asked ourselves:

      Be in the moment, or get the shot?

      In her TED talk, Erin Sullivan asks a similar question:

      When traveling, this is the question I torture myself with daily. With limited time and so many interesting things to capture, can I enjoy the moment? But, when photographing with intention, I do focus on details through the camera. Memories fade, but photos stay perfectly preserved in digital storage.

      Erin Sullivan gives a perfect example of a Mesa Arch in Canyonland National Park, Utah. Photographed by millions of photographers and seen by billions of people all over the world. Why do we need to take any more pictures of it instead of just enjoying a sunrise moment?

      📷 Photo credit: Omer Salom

    • Thanks for posting this @Vilen, that talk was awesome!

      I agree with both the speaker and you. Photographing with intention does help create memories - but sometimes I just sit and absorb the beauty around me.

      I hate being places where people are jumping out of their vehicles to grab a shot then jumping back in. On one trip to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (many years before last year's eruption!) I remember watching bus-loads of people swarm an overlook. I shook my head and walked away from the road, into the landscape. I met one or two others out enjoying the environment; everything was good as soon as I escaped the masses. Unfortunately I think that it hard to do today when visiting popular places. That's the reason why I time my visits to Acadia National Park in the early spring and late fall. And yes, one day I plan to visit in winter.

    • Why are you waiting @Denise ?? ❄️☃️

      Like Waren Miller always said - if you don't do it now, you'll be a year older the next time you are there to do it.......

      I take pictures because my visual memory is imperfect, as are most humans.

      My pictures are not for my memory of just a few days, but for years and decades later, to help me remember more faithfully and more completely. I sound like I am mentally failing, but I think my mind is still with me, but that's what demented folks always think isn't it? 😟

      Ask Jay Maisel if you need to carry a camera with you. I know what he will say!

    • I really want to see it with snow on the ground but I don't really want to drive up there while it is snowing.

      You're right, I just need to go! I did head up in December a number of years back but I didn't catch any snow.

    • If not now, when??

      I actually find things in my images upon review, that I didn't even see in the field.

      Like the coyote I photographed jumping in the ditch in Yellowstone - I knew I photographed it jumping several times, but I never saw the vole in its mouth in my viewfinder - it was way too small - but on my monitor, my super power eyes could see the vole quite easily.

      So you can record things right in front of you, that you cannot even see......

      That's kind of cool, I think. 😻🦄

      Reflecting on Erin Sullivan's talk - I think it does help to be completely familar with your camera/lens so that you don't have to ruminate how to record what you are hoping to capture, that you are not performing a new, unknown skill, but a skill that is muscle memory so that your mind is not so completely engaged in shooting that you are unaware of your surroundings, etc.

      If you can operate your camera in the dark without seeing any of the dials, then you are probably sufficiently skilled in the use of your camera for it not to intrude on the experience.

    • That is good to know. I guess watching a concert on the phone vs. experiencing it live parallels our discussion about photography.

      When an opportunity to get a great shot happens, but you want to be in the moment, what do you do? 😜

    • Yes and no. I'm with Pathfinder.

      I've been doing this long enough now that I can look the scene or how fast the subject is moving, dial it in and be done pretty quickly if I need to.

      In the Arch example I'd definitely be more interested in the exposure than the rock. It's a rock. :-P

      But mostly I've gone 'there' specifically to take a photo anyway.

    • And to paraphrase Ansel Adams. "A good photograph is knowing where to stand."

      That's not only being in 'the moment', it's thoroughly analysing it.

    • I really don't mind people recording the concerts (or, I suspect more commonly, streaming it for their friends who couldn't be there - a form of communal experience). What I really do mind is when they turn on their puny phone flashlight to record a stage that is more than 30m away. Both from the perspective of standing in front of them and being annoyed by the light, and from the perspective of an amateur photographer annoyed by their incomprehension of how the flash photography works.

    • What I really do mind is being 6'5" tall and they hold it up in front of my face. I usually try and be considerate and hang towards the rear at a standing venue. Until I'm looking at some goober's phone between me and the action. Then I move my 280lbs to the 'blackout position'. :-)

    • I stopped looking for images, good images, of places I'll travel to. I feel it has a way of making you feel jaded (somewhat) before you arrive.

      I prefer the first view to be a totally new one to me and see 'what I see'

    • I do think that quietly capturing a still photo is different and less disturbing to those around me, than standing up in front of people in an audience and waving a brighty lit cell phone around.

      My wife and I were at the Grand Illumination at Colonial Williamsburg, a couple years ago, sitting in the paid seats in front of the Governor's Palace, to watch the final ceremony of seasonal fireworks, and had an individual stand up in front of us during the whole proceeding to wave their cell phone around to capture hand held waving video of the event. We were not impressed, needless to say. Rudeness beyond belief - people all around us were screaming at them to sit down, but no!! - they were too important to consider anyone's desires, but their own. And we all know how great their hand held video will really be too...

      So I do understand there are two sides to these stories,,,,

    • I'm not a photographer, I'm a point and shoot type of gal. I fully experience the places I go and grab shots randomly. I don't let the experience get taken over with the idea of capturing the perfect photo, I point and shoot as I enjoy the world around me. I never look at the screen and I do get a lot of garbage pictures but every so often I get lucky. Even though they are not quality photos when I look at them they bring back wonderful memories. Now with the digital age it's even better.