Sometimes the camera makes me feel like a boy in a bubble. The lens separates me from what’s going on in front of it. My life seems suspended as I float along a sidewalk or path. It’s as if I were a Martian visiting the planet for the first time—a hovering alien, looking at the world the way a curious cat might study a bug. The camera does this to me.
I'm curious if others find the “camera-me” as strange as I view myself. Maybe, these days, all photographer are viewed as weird. There are a lot more cameras now and the photos they take show up all over the place. Smart phones and the Internet are changing everything. Big, fat DSLRs aren’t helping either. Photography has always been an aggressive act—we take photos, capture images, and shoot pictures. Even the term snapshot is aggressive. It means to shoot a gun quickly, without taking much aim. All this pointing and shooting! Take out a camera and everything changes.
It used to be that cameras were brought out during special occasions. You didn’t see them everywhere, all the time. Now you do. Everyone is photographing everything.
I question if any of us are actually looking at anything anymore. Can we even appreciate something unless we take a photograph of it? I wonder if we’ve all grown to prefer the detachment of looking at life through the viewfinder. Photography really does seem to be changing everything.