Camera VS Moment. Is it a distraction from living the actual moment?

This is a photo of Lebron James creating NBA history by surpassing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s record, as captured by Andrew Bernstein. More importantly, for me, is the way a man is living the moment. To me, this is an image of Nike Founder Phil Knight looking at Lebron create history before his very eyes.

We are in an ever capturing era, where it’s normal to simply whip out your phone and try to get it on video. But sometimes… I just want to disconnect from that capability.

Sometimes I just want to stop and absorb the moment.

Sometimes I just want to capture and relive it by memory.

At times I wonder if I actually experienced something when I was trying to record it at that time. It feels like I may have experienced it second-hand through what I’ve captured, but not actually experienced it 1st… get what I mean?

I remember a scene from The Secret Life of Walter Mitty where a Walter (played by Ben Stiller) asks the photographer Sean O’Connell (played by Sean Penn) when he’s going to take a photo of a snow leopard aka “ghost cat”. His answer:

“If I like a moment, for me, personally, I don’t like to have the distraction of the camera. I just want to stay in it.”.

Sean O’Connell, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

It’s hard, too, considering, as a designer and director, it’s also my job to capture. I need to capture that small window of actual magic, and most of the time, the solution to get the shot is to take a lot of the shots, and be more focused about composition, having the subject in the frame, foreseeing any other possible action apart from the actual subject.

One of these days, I hope to see more of the moments. I believe it’s a luxury worth attaining.

Nobody can do both. You’re either looking at the screen or at the actual moment.

It’s a tough choice.

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