My friend takes a lot of pictures. No, like, really a lot.
He’s a tourist, so that explains some of it. But he’s also a foreign tourist, which means there are even more photos taken every time we walk out the door. I know from personal experience that when in a foreign country, the number of pictures taken grows exponentially. “Hey, look at that bird on the piazza!” Click. “Hey, look at that other bird on the piazza!” Click. “Is that a cool pizza in the window of that bakery or what!” Click.
As a result of being around all this photography, I’m taking more pictures than I usually do. I have a beautiful Leica camera that I’ve taken with me on some of the day trips, but most of the time I just use my phone’s camera like everyone else. I’m reminded how enjoyable it is to take pictures. It’s like a treasure hunt. I love to find alternative perspectives and unexpected frames. I like seeing things that we might miss and giving them the spotlight. The photo above is from a series (fancy!) that I took while sitting on the low perimeter of the big fountain in the Navy Yard Plaza the other day. I have two dozen pictures like this, all of different people who passed smack in the middle of my view. No heads, just bodies. It’s incredible, the diversity I captured. East Indian, black, white, short, large, two people holding hands, a child, a shopping bag, a disabled person, etc. It was so fun, so interesting to me.
But I can’t take up photography in any serious way. Not now. I’ve got room for one go-to for life interp and it’s writing. I can’t process anything without writing it down and though it’s just chicken scratches that result in me being only dimly aware of what I experience, I can’t leave it for pictures. A picture tells a thousand words so I’d save time, but I like a thousand words. I like two thousand words twice as much.
It must be really fun to be subsidized by a rich uncle (he could be dead or alive, doesn’t matter.) You could interpret life all day long in using any number of mediums: you could look at pictures and write words and compose music all examining what life means while you take a bath in gold coins.