Updated: Oct 30, 2018
Author Daniel Fox
The author of the article "On Photography as Meditation", Daniel Fox starts by comparing photography before the digital age with the very different process of photography today. Not in the technical sense, but in personal way. He concludes:
We don’t own our photos anymore, they own us.
Daniel then goes onto explore the idea that to recapture some of the ownership, learn to delete photos.
By deleting the ones you don’t like, you start to discover what you like. You start taking ownership of your photos. And with ownership comes pride. And with pride comes value.
Daniel extends this idea by comparing our Instagram feeds with a gallery that’s open 24/7. The photos are not special or of value because they are always available. The internet has changed how we value our photographs.
Choice – too much choice – brings paralysis.
Daniel ends with a quote from Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh:
“Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness. If, in our heart, we still cling to anything – anger, anxiety, or possessions – we cannot be free.”
— Thich Nhat Hanh
This article is short, but powerfully written. Daniel challenges us to think carefully about our photography and how we collect and store our photographs. While reading, I couldn’t help but think of the word “hord.” Are we hording our photographs, letting them stack up until they overwhelm us and we can’t even remember the memories attached to the moments
Daniel makes reminds us that we used to arrange photos in scrapbooks and arranging the photos into stories is an art many of us have lost. Instead we post to Instagram with the photos arranged only by date. It’s possible to use Instagram as a virtual scrapbook, but we often don’t take the time to really think about the photos we’re posting, arrange them and add a story.
Selecting photos can be difficult and with the ease of taking photos and storing them, we may be devaluing them – burying the truly special photos in heaps of junk.
Review Written by Jennifer Mishra
Jennifer Mishra is an American travel photographer born in Colorado and based in the St. Louis metro area. She has a background in classical music and academia. She is the founder of PhotoYoga. Her photos are published at Wits End Photography or follow her on Facebook or Instagram.
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