Don’t lose the moment !


Last summer I made a huge mistake. Frankly it was embarrassing and I should have known better. The Tour De France was coming through Yorkshire. We’d secured, thanks to a farmer we know, front row seats, for free. We were camped in a field and we had it all to ourselves. Hundreds were expected. It was going to be quite possibly a once in a lifetime experience and we determined we wouldn’t miss it.
So what did I do ? Quite simply I was that busy trying to get a good collection of images that I missed the spectacle as it passed by in a matter of no more than four or five minutes. One minute they were here and the next they were gone and that was it. End of ! I had been so busy with my camera to my eye that I had failed to simply just watch and savour and absorb the whole thing into my memory. To enjoy the it for what it was, the sight, the sound, the colour and the excitement. The camera had formed a barrier between me and what was happening.I might as well have been watching it at home on the TV, in fact it would have been better. The camera had somehow distanced myself from the event not three yards in front of me. I got back to the tent devastated. After all these years I had committed what felt like to me a simple schoolboy error. I had failed to simply enjoy the event. It wasn’t as though the images I had got were any good or that I was intending making anything from them. I had lost the moment for myself. The wife enjoyed it though.
There’s a danger that by spending too much time with your eye stuck to the viewfinder you actually miss what’s going on in front of you. You might be in Rome or at the Pyramids and you might be that busy trying to get those all important images to show the folks back home that you fail to actually look and savour with your own eyes. That’s what happened to me during the Tour De France. ‘War photographers’ often report this phenomenon and in those circumstances it can cost them their lives. They find that being behind the camera somehow distances themselves from the horrors taking place in front of them.


One thought on “Don’t lose the moment !

  1. Ai, very recognizable. In a way it’s good. The camera acts as a filter too for journalists. Filtering the horror scenes a bit. But yeah, it’s a shame if it happens on a special occasion or on vacation!

    Guess what! Tour the France will be near my home this year!

    Happy Monday and kind regards,


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