Un­aided mem­o­ries

The Photographer's Mail - - Editorial - Lara Wy­att

We’re well and truly back into the swing of things here at The Pho­tog­ra­pher’s Mail af­ter our sum­mer hol­i­day. I made the most of the good weather that we were given and went on var­i­ous na­tive bush walks around the North Is­land, tak­ing in our country’s beau­ti­ful land­scape and all the na­tive birds. In one place alone, I man­aged to see at least 10 na­tive birds, in­clud­ing the beau­ti­ful kaka and takahe. We’re very lucky here in New Zealand to have such unique eco­log­i­cal fea­tures — and, as an added bonus, they make for some stun­ning photos.

Every­where I went, I would find my­self think­ing, and of­ten say­ing aloud, “That would make such a stun­ning pho­to­graph”. How­ever, at the end of my hol­i­days, when I was look­ing through those I had ac­tu­ally taken, there were very few. In some cases, there’d be a max­i­mum of five images for a three-hour ex­plo­ration. I started to think about what a shame it was that I hadn’t cap­tured more pho­to­graphs to re­mem­ber my break, but then I re­al­ized that I didn’t need those prompts to re­mind me of what a great sum­mer I had had or of all the amaz­ing sights I had seen — I came to the con­clu­sion that some­times see­ing things with your eyes in the mo­ment, in­stead of de­lay­ing that ap­pre­ci­a­tion for when you look back at a pho­to­graph, is pretty spe­cial.

Af­ter a year of read­ing about pho­tog­ra­phers who have been light­en­ing their loads when it comes to the amount of gear they take when they travel, I re­ally feel like I un­der­stand where they are com­ing from. Some­times, it’s nice to take a step out from be­hind any form of tech­no­log­i­cal screen, whether that’s a cam­era on a tri­pod, your cell­phone, or your lap­top or iPad, to just ap­pre­ci­ate the space you are in. I can’t imag­ine that the ex­pe­ri­ences I had — walk­ing up steep hills, along edges of cliffs, and pre­car­i­ously mak­ing my way across rocks while avoid­ing fall­ing in the wa­ter — would have been nearly as en­joy­able while lug­ging a back­pack full of cam­era gear. It was nice to know that all I had to worry about was a cell­phone in my pocket.

How­ever, I do ap­pre­ci­ate the se­lect few images I did man­age to cap­ture over the three-week break, and I do look at them of­ten while I am sit­ting in my of­fice, day­dream­ing of be­ing back out­side in the sun­shine, lying in the shade of a tree, and read­ing a book. Plus, they’re mak­ing my In­sta­gram ac­count look pretty gor­geous at the mo­ment, so that’s al­ways a bonus when you’re as ad­dicted to so­cial me­dia as I am.

Happy 2016 to you all, and I hope you’ve all en­tered it re­freshed and mo­ti­vated to kick-start your en­deav­ours for the year.

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