For general public, it is not particularly clear why today was selected to be the International Photography Day, and many would guess that it was started by a person with some marketing idea in mind, and yet it is kind of cool to have a dedicated day to celebrate the industry and art as it is.
Actually, it is linked to the date that the Government of France has released the daguerreotype patent making that photographic process “free to the world” (more on which you can learn from here).
But to me every day is a photography day regardless if I have work on that day. And even if you’re not a photographer, the visuals are all around us all regularly (way too many visuals of ladies in bikinis for no particular reason, but such is 21st century I guess). I hardly went a day in the last 10 years without photographing the world, and normally I will take a photo (or two, or ten) if not with my camera, at least with my phone. Suppose I wanted to take a break from this “photographic craze” and refrain from snapping left and right, then I’d see some shadows, a cat passing by, sunset, a framing, a situation and I can’t help but want to capture it and keep it with me in the book of visual memories.
I think this addiction is so bad that I sometimes need to go out and take pictures of whatever with whatever resources available, otherwise I just don’t feel like myself. It was tough to deal with it during lockdown, but I shot some interesting things at home, played with camera settings, did some shadow experiments, looked for the moon relentlessly to entertain me, checked on what neighbours were doing, kept dreaming of going to Hatta.
Even if I just have some free time or a day off, I would consider going somewhere and taking photos. Not for social media, not for portfolio, just to go out and document the day. Yeah, it can be really well-planned and highly amazing if there are clouds, and you’re at the sunset time somewhere outstanding, and your pockets are full of filters and the tripod works like it should, and the composition fits the focal length of your choice… but okay, a cute cat of the neighborhood will do too if there’s nothing else.
So let’s celebrate our passions every day. Life’s too short to not enjoy what we really love. Whether it’s capturing someone’s smile, someone’s achievements, someone’s birthday party, someone’s moment of grief, someone’s moment of war, some pretty moment of life – take a picture. Or if it doesn’t feel right, then just don’t.
Camera helped me to open many doors, got me to places where I don’t belong or never imagined I’d be, introduced me to world-famous celebrities and politicians, made friends, made enemies. It is a powerful tool, but one should use it wisely as it is easy to get carried away with all the tricks and magical tools such as photoshop and co.
You might have a very complicated and capable camera or a very basic one, but in the end you are the one who is pressing the shutter button, don’t abuse it – use it with love. Try not to fall victim of social media who will tell you what they want you to capture, only capture what makes you feel good.
And may there never be dust in your sensor.
Happy International Photography Day!
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