Saturday, 23 February 2019

Thoughts From the Past - Photography as Therapy

Snowy Queen St 03 
*istD, Tamron SP 28-7/2.8 XR Di

This is a repost from Sept 2007

I was having a conversation with an acquaintance today at lunch (one of the myriad of photogs I run into at the local camera stores, I work around the corner from two of the main camera stores in Toronto, so I'm in there alot) and the conversation moved to how I justify the money I spend on photography (both on kit and on expendables like film, ink, paper and chemicals).

The answer? It's still cheaper than a good shrink. And it's true. My job is relatively high-stress, I'm on-call 24x7 for the most part. I'd have burnt out long ago if I didn't have some good stress relief that didn't cause cancer or liver disease. And photography helps me stay sane. It does so in a number of ways:

1. Retail Therapy. Buying stuff is fun. Buying stuff for yourself can help cheer you up and take your mind off of stress. Yes, this works. If in doubt, ask your girlfriend's purse collection ;-)

2. Meditation. For me, the mindless rhythm of developing is good meditation. It's one of the reasons why developing doesn't annoy me or seem like a waste of time (unlike doing RAW conversions). And the slow pace of working with a MF camera on a tripod is also meditation (I suspect LF is the photographic equivalent of Yoga, gotta get into LF one of these days).

3. Escape. Photography is a great escape from the pressures of life. I don't have time to think about work when I'm out shooting. I can only think about the shooting itself.

It's interesting that 12 years later, this really still applies, although it's become less effective for me. I think that's because I've not done as much of #2 and #3 since I went back to school in late 2008.

No comments:

Post a Comment