As I was passing the time a few days ago, browsing blogs in the blogosphere to get inspiration from, I bump into Living Through the Lense (shout out to Arpita! 🙂 ). Left a comment and told her that it reminded me of one of my fave scenes in the movie “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty“. The scene is a conversation between Walter Mitty (Ben Stiller) and Sean O’Connell portrayed by Sean Penn.
A backstory for those who haven’t seen it yet. O’Connell is a well known photographer in the movie. Mitty had been searching for him, from Greenland to Iceland to the Himalayas (I won’t elaborate on this okay 😛 ). He had been having a hard time doing so because O’Connell doesn’t stay in one place. He travels to different places/continents just to find the best subjects to his craft. On this clip, O’Connell has been on the same spot for quite a while when Mitty found him. He’s been long waiting for the rare snow leopard to come out from its hiding and take pictures of it.
What O’Connell said struck me:
Walter Mitty: When are you going to take it? (picture of the snow leopard)
Sean O’Connell: Sometimes I don’t. 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.
When I started traveling, it was also the same time I discovered the colorful world of photography. It started with a simple point and shoot underwater camera, then later on, an upgrade to a mid-range DSLR. Initially it was just a plain interest of taking pictures with friends and families as remembrance to memorable life events.
After a while, when I finally got the chance to see places on my own, it became a hobby and means to share my adventures with my family who only had a few opportunities to travel with me.
With the selfie craze still going on right now, it makes me sad that the art of photography which I’m starting to love is somehow heading into being a path to narcissism and egotism.
It’s one of the reasons why I’m not into selfies (my Instagram account ratifies this). Let me be more clear about this, ok. I have taken selfies in the past and I still do. But mostly when i travel alone. I don’t do it just because I’m bored or don’t have anything else to do. I know you get the point here 😉 . (Pet peeve: those who take selfies then upload it with a quote that has nothing to do with their face! Geez!) What’s ironic is, that I live in a country where you can find the city dubbed as the Selfie Capital of the World! Hahaha!
Let me close this by saying: I hope we take some time to find our inner Sean O’Connell — we don’t have the distraction of the camera, learn to pause, savor the moment and just stay in it.