Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Thunderstorms are go!

There was a fairly mild thunderstorm here last night; I counted perhaps 10 sheet lightning strikes, and what I believe was one incredible, huge, fork lightning strike. I stayed up until about four in morning, desperately hoping to capture one like it on camera - it never came, however. All I got for my efforts was about 100 noisy pictures of Mont Saleve and an orange-hued sky. Not even one picture of sheet lightning!

I'm beginning to think that I like photography not for the end result (even though it's a bonus), but because it forces you to stop and smell the roses - it forces you to examine your surroundings for details you wouldn't pick up if merely getting from A to B. If it wasn't for the incentive of taking photos, I would never have stayed up until four last night, being awed by the rolling thunder, the impressive (if sparse) lightening, and the driving rain. I would never have spent so much time walking around Geneva looking at neo-classical buildings; or sat on a park bench gazing intently at seagulls and ducks and their patterns of taking off and diving for food. I certainly would never have gone to a botanical garden and examined flowers for peculiar patterns; I wouldn't have noticed - much less be fascinated by - strange insects collecting pollen from them.

I'm convinced that the small details that I usually miss out on at home, but that I'm seeing now (thanks to my desire to photography), are enhancing my experience of life - perhaps not in a dramatic way, but it's nice all the same. You often hear people say that by being obsessed with taking pictures on holiday or at an event with a still or video camera are ruining it for themselves because they're not really living through it first hand - they're too busy trying to record it for the future. I have to say so far, I've experienced the opposite.

I often look up at the sky and note to myself: "Hey, that cloud is pretty cool" But the desire to take photographs forced me to give it a second look.

Without photography, I wouldn't have given this feller a second glance.

It seems to be widely believed that unless you're taking photos for money, it doesn't matter if anyone else likes them, as long as you're happy with you own work. I would go one further: I don't even care if I like them, as long as I'm having fun.