Eyes wide open; Being aware

Posted on by Bellamy

blink and you could miss it
I know I post a lot about cameras, but they are a bit of a thing for me, as you all know. Well, this time I thought I should post about something a bit different. Namely spatial awareness. Yeah, I know, keep it about the cameras, but I really feel that I need to talk about this subject.
I think that it is important for you as a photographer to be spatially aware, perhaps more so that the average person. As a street photographer you have a certain responsibility to document the things that are around you and you cannot do this if you are not aware of your surroundings.
I get immensely frustrated when I am out walking and people bump into me or just stop where they are going without thinking. I think as a photographer you may find yourself becoming hyperaware of everything that is around you, and often how it is going to affect your course of action.

This man was looking at his phone, as a consequence he was eaten by an escaped tiger
I honestly believe that the mobile phone is responsible for the dumbing down of society as a whole, as people are more content to look into this screen that they are to look around them. This is good and bad for you if you are not one of the terminally addicted too. This is good in that it can give you the advantage of not being seen and can get you some interesting subject matter. the disadvantage of this is that you can often find yourself being the one that gets bumped into. People are becoming less aware of their surroundings as they become more engrossed in the gadgets they have in their pocket.

They never found this poor mans face. Next time he will be more careful
One of the biggest things that I noticed when I was teaching the workshop was that I was frequently telling the students to look. Now I am also guilty of not looking properly, but I am pretty good. You have to train yourself to look, to be aware. When you are out, even if you are not shooting you should be looking. Make sure you take the time to be aware of your surroundings, look around and see things. Pride yourself in seeing the things that others do not. After all, you are not going to be much cop as a photographer if you are not looking. It will not happen overnight, but you will find yourself seeing then things that you missed before.
Keep looking, keep searching and keep shooting.
Japancamerahunter

2 Responses to Eyes wide open; Being aware

Gordon Shkurhan December 21, 2011 at 6:40 pm

I really empathize with what you’re saying here and completely agree with your comment about the mobile phone dumbing down society. I don’t know if you’ve been to Hong Kong but, having lived in Japan and now in Hong Kong, I can tell you that the situation here is even more frustrating. Never mind being bumped while the the other person is engrossed in a mobile, without a word of exaggeration, people here will crash into you while looking straight at you. It’s unbelievable!

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