Savoring the Moment

I just checked out of my hotel in Seoul, and was on my way to the subway. I had a bunch of bags I had to carry, and ended up missing two potential street photos I would have liked to capture:

One of the shots was a guy in a suit, with his suit jacket propped over his right shoulder with a finger. My camera was still in my bag.

The second shot was a muscular black man carrying an umbrella (similar to what old Korean ladies wore) also wearing spandex.

My camera was in my bag for both of these potential shots, so I missed the moment. However rather than being frustrated at myself for not taking the shots, I tried to savor the moment.

For example, I smiled at the muscular guy who walked by me and said “love your outfit.” He gave me a huge grin and smiled back and said, “Thank you.” His smile felt so warm and genuine.

This reminds me : I don’t need to capture a photo of everything I experience. Sometimes by not taking a photo of something, I better appreciate the moment and commit it to memory more.

So nowadays if I’m seeing fireworks with Cindy on new years, I try to purposefully put the camera away and just enjoy the moment.

Whenever I miss potential street photos, two thoughts come into my mind :

  1. Always have my camera around my neck (I never know when a good photo opportunity might arise).
  2. That was a nice moment I missed, but I’m glad I’m alive and experienced it.

Furthermore, missing the potential street photos from today further invigorated my love of street photography. I thought to myself, “Wow, life is pretty incredible and amazing. There are so many different colorful people on the streets, and all these wonderful moments happening all the time.”

So I guess in conclusion my thoughts contradict each other a bit: always have your camera with you (preferably around your neck or in your hand), but sometimes it is good to just savor and appreciate a moment (especially if you didn’t take a photo of it).

At the end of the day, I think experiencing a moment is much more valuable than capturing it.

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  • Marco Silva

    This is not philosophy that’s life that is better!

  • andrea::tognoli

    That’s pure truth ! I want to suggest to all my friend to read this post. I agree 100%. Any way …better to have ever your camera around your neck (quite).
    If you have scheduled a workshop in Italy, please let me know … I would like to share a beer with you.

    • Dave D

      Eric, I’m enjoying your blog’s more personal turn. I can’t decide which I enjoy and appreciate more – your writing or photographs!


    • Marco Silva

      Andrea I’ve sent a message to Eric’s manager to arrange a workshop in Milan. I hope he will reply positively.

  • Chirag Wakaskar

    Whatever you lose, comes back in some other way. (but it also helps to have the camera on hand always :P)

  • Mike V

    The best camera will always be the mind, for without it we couldn’t appreciate anything. The mind and the camera create the perfect shot. Great post Eric, it has reminded me about the importance if being present and appreciating all that life has to offer

  • michael

    taking shots trains the brain to appreciate beauty, i guess after a while it becomes second nature to mentally frame things, with or without the camera.
    Good blog btw. Thoughtful stuff