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Capturing the Moment without a Camera

July 23, 2008 – by Per Christensson

Taking pictures used to be a well thought-out process. Since most film rolls only allowed for about 24 photos, you needed to be pretty selective in what pictures you took. Plus, every picture in the roll would get developed, meaning each photo had to be worth keeping.

Well, those days are long gone. In the age of digital photography, taking dozens of pictures in a single day is not uncommon. No longer bound by the chains of film, amateur photographers are free to snap photos until their hearts are content. Instead of capturing a few key shots at an event, people can now capture every minute of it. After all, it's digital, so why not?

Well, there may be an answer to that rhetorical question. Since digital cameras make it so easy to take photos, we often shift our focus from the people and environment around us to our cameras. Instead of experiencing the moment, we get caught up trying to get the perfect shot or making sure we don't miss any good photo opportunities. As one who has experienced this first-hand, I have come to realize that life is better lived through my own eyes than through the lens of a camera.

So next time you are out with your friends or at an event, try taking less pictures. After all, how often do you really look at all those pictures you took last month, or last year. And when you do view them, do you really need five different photos of the same thing? You may actually be doing yourself a favor by taking fewer pictures, since you won't have to scroll through so many later on.

More importantly, you'll be less likely to miss the moment. Instead of using your digital device to record your surroundings, look around and take it in with your own eyes. Stop for a moment and capture the sounds and smells of the environment you are in. You may be surprised at what you were missing. So go ahead and take your camera with you – just don't let it get in the way.

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