Now never ends

The end of another year draws near and, as it does, we inevitably come to reflect on events that have come to pass and make plans for the future. Sometimes what is missing, of course, is just living in and being aware of the present. For those of us who felt that 2009 came and went too quickly, perhaps we need to be more attentive of the now. But how do you do that? It’s not necessary to become a monk sheltered on a windy mountain top. The answer is simple. Just pay attention to what you are doing. That’s not to say, however, that doing that is easy. I surely don’t do it enough. But then, rewards easily won are less appreciated. The beauty of being in the now is that it is never-ending: now always exists. Photography seems to embody the idea that the moment is all that there is. Perhaps the way to live longer is to experience more of now – time will cease to fly by. Just don’t enjoy it too much – the old saying that time passes more quickly when you’re having fun is all too true. Read ‘Making Time‘ by Steve Taylor for an interesting discussion on our perception of time and how we might alter it.

The idea that photography can teach you to slow down is not absolute however. Digital technology brings with it the ability to take vast quantities of images with no need to worry about film costs and the ability to see results immediately. I did not spend my childhood with a camera held to my eye but instead came to photography in a determined way about 3 years ago at the age of 32 (though there was always an underlying interest). I do not, therefore, have much experience of photographing with film but I can understand how the process of taking an image shooting film might be different and could be more conducive to a slower approach. Maybe what this reveals is something about me – that photographing digitally tempts me into bad habits whereas film might slow me down. Rather than change to using film, I’ll aim to change how I act (and anyway, I’m sure film users have their bad habits too). Photography really can change who you are on a fundamental level.

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~ by paulsidle on December 27, 2009.

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