Don’t see the world as it is, see it as more beautiful!
Dear friend —
As photographers and visual artists, let us strive to see the world as more beautiful, phenomenal, and amazing (than others perceive it to be).
Do you love reality?
We exist in reality. I think reality is one of the most beautiful and interesting things that exist — far more interesting, challenging, and seductive than any virtual reality could ever be!
Thus, I think us as photographers love and delight in reality. We explore and wander the world, trying to uncover beautiful things— to proclaim our love of being alive, and our love of existing within this reality.
The strange thing — a lot of people hate reality. They want to escape into virtual reality. They dislike meeting people face-to-face (to me, this is the only true form of human interaction). They like to have virtual challenges, instead of challenges rooted in the physical world.
Why I would never want to be a virtual reality photographer
I have been playing a lot with virtual reality, and wondered to myself:
If virtual reality ever got really really good, and you can just walk and explore in the virtual world as you do in the physical world, and you had the ability to take photos — would you? And if so, what would be the difference between shooting photos in the virtual world versus the physical world?
Well, in the physical world, photography is more challenging and difficult. If you shoot street photography, you have to deal with real life consequences — like people getting angry or aggressive towards you. In virtual reality, you can never get physically harmed.
Another example — no matter how good a virtual reality boxer could get, we would never respect or admire them as much as a real world boxer. Why? Because a real world boxer has to deal with real pain and downside (mental damage or even death), whereas the virtual reality boxer has none of these real world downsides.
So perhaps the benefit of being a photographer (specifically, a street photographer) is that you expose yourself to potential downsides and danger — which makes street photography and “real life” photography as more challenging, difficult, and fearsome.
Do you love being alive?
Sorry I am getting off topic.
To return to the first idea, the physical world (reality) around us is phenomenally beautiful. I feel that us photographers are a different breed of human beings, because we are probably more grateful of being alive and having the wonderful opportunity to exist, explore, and make visual artwork of the real world.
Thus friend — never stop your quest as a photographer to find beauty, joy, and thanksgiving in the real world. Of course there is pain, suffering, and tragedy in the world— but despite all that, of course it is a phenomenal marvel to be alive!
Let us continue to dance, frolic, and delight in our ability to enjoy being alive and to partake in reality. Let us deify life as a photographer.