Friday, June 15, 2012

Why I take pictures or why I annoy the hell out of my friends

I can no longer count the times when my friends wanted to punch me in the face because I annoyed them with my photo-taking tendencies. I try to be as subtle as possible, but I know it's hard for them to ignore someone who's got a lens pointed at their faces all the time. I mean, it's not like I'm friends with Paris Hilton or Kim Kardashian, otherwise this wouldn't be an issue. I'm sure there have been many times when my friends just wanted to sloppily eat their General Tso's chicken without someone having to capture their every bite and swallow.

 I suspect that many of my friends who have grown to love me or at least have gotten used to my annoying habit of taking pictures of everything - food, people talking, people eating, people just sitting, people staring into space, empty plates, random objects, trains, dust particles, clouds, flowers, buildings, my hand, my shoes - have learned to ignore me, or realized that it's still illegal to sucker-punch someone for taking a photo of you. Or maybe they've grown tired of resisting , of covering their faces with their hands or trying to avoid parties where I'm at.  So thank you my ever patient friends for letting me take your pictures and resisting the profound temptation to kick me in the shin. And thank you to the US government for enacting laws against being punched for being annoying.


The truth is, I can't help it. I love taking pictures. It started in 2006 when I bought my first camera from my officemate in Pathways, Bon. It was a manual Canon camera. To a certain extent I think I was also influenced by people in that office who loved taking pictures. I bought the camera, not because I knew that someday I would have a knack for being an annoying stalker/paparazzi, but because I wanted to get it off her hands. And that started it all.

I remember the first picture that I really liked that I took with that camera. It was of an ice cream cart, which is very common in the Philippines. I was using film so I didn't know what the picture looked like until I printed it. Sure, it was a little blurred  and skewed, but I loved it.

Oh the days of film. I would have the films scanned and developed straight to a cd (oh the days of CD!!) and print out the ones I liked. Even when everyone started using digital, I was firm in my belief that photography was sacred and that film preserved the purity of photography. God, even then I was such a hipster. If I have a time machine, I might just go back and punch me in the face.


photo taken by Megan Grey. 

In any case, being a pretentious hipster was costly and I moved on to a Nikon D40. It was a great camera but I was on auto mode for a year before finally learning how to use manual. And years and thousands of blurred, over saturated, over exposed photos later and I'm still taking pictures. I'm using a D90 right now and am still in the process of learning how to take good pictures.

I can't really say why I love taking photos. Sure, it's a way of preserving memories, like journal writing, which I still try to do. Maybe because it's a way of capturing beauty, like when I try to paint or sketch (wannabe artist, right here). And it's not just about capturing the beauty of this world, it's capturing it in my own way. My photos show how I see the world. That's a lot of crap that basically says it's a way of expressing myself.

But whatever the reasons, I hope to continue taking more pictures in the future, especially of friends - in their most beautiful, awkward, unexpected moments, and the world around. Well, that's until someone finally decides to take action and give me the punching I deserve. And maybe then, I might still go on taking pictures.

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