"Slow down, you move too fast
You got to make the morning last
Just kicking down the cobblestones
Looking for fun and feelin' groovy
Ba da da da da da da, feelin' groovy"
A great folk song that was released in 1966. I think this could be a great theme song for something we all need to do -- slow down.
|My First Real Camera|
I got my first "real" camera in 1976 as a high school graduation present. It was a Yashika Tele-Electro SLR. It was a pretty advanced camera at that time. I used it to take photos through college, but a college student budget limited how many photos I took. When you live on a shoestring you think about each exposure you make on that roll of film. I probably didn't make much more than 1,000 photos with that camera.
Fast forward to today. I sometimes take over 1,000 shots in a single day. It's really easy to do. With high capacity memory cards, I can keep making shot after shot without being concerned with the cost of each. Once I pay for the camera gear and memory cards, the only real cost is the time it takes to go through all those photos once I get them on my computer.
As photographers, we have borrowed a phrase from gun owners - Spray and Pray. Spray and pray is a derisive term for firing an automatic firearm in long bursts, without making an effort to line up each shot or burst of shots. This is especially prevalent amongst those without the benefit of proper training. If we take lots of shots with guns or cameras we try to rely on the odds that a few will be good enough.
|The Gudak App|
Today I ran across an article about a new digital smartphone app that is catching on in some parts of the world. The app mimics old film cameras. It even looks like a Kodak disposable film camera. A virtual roll of film has 24 frames and once you finish that roll you have to wait 3 days to get those photos "developed". You also have to wait several hours before you can load up a new virtual roll of 24 exposures. People who use this app can't "spray and pray".
|Inside Administration Building at Univ. of Notre Dame|
When I made the photo above I had to slow down and take my time to line up the shot. No runnin and gunnin here. I had to take my time and think about this shot. I doubt I'll ever be back to try this shot again so this was a once in a lifetime chance.
I do recommend to my photography students that they make several photos of a subject. They should move around to make several different compositions. They should also make multiple shots at different exposures so that they can pick the best exposure later. This is not the same as Spray and Pray but requires thought, planning and time.
Another important reason to slow down is so we don't miss the photo opportunities right by us. I found this photo of the lily pads and leaves while walking around Bays Mountain Park in Kingsport. I was there for fall color and hoping to see one of the resident beavers in that area of the lake. If I hadn't taken the time to look around I could have easily missed this shot.
|Lily Pads and Leaves|
The Christmas season seems designed to make us go fast and do more. It's hard to slow down. It requires some effort. Let's all slow down, look around, and see what God has placed right in front of us.