A Sense Of Clarity
Start writing a post

A Sense Of Clarity

Seeing more by seeing less.

A Sense Of Clarity
Kati Janssen

Two days ago I arrived in Washington state and made my way down to the Pike Place market. There was a horde of tourists with iPhones out, recording as men threw fish through the crowded area. After a lot of shouting and commotion, one of the men asked "Do any of you actually want to buy a fish?" No one stepped forward or said anything, just continued recording every frame as if that could somehow capture the essence of downtown Seattle.

It's almost crippling, the way we believe we can absorb everything we experience just by holding our phones or cameras out to the world. As a photographer myself, I know how easy it is to see anything remotely spectacular and immediately pull out my camera and take as many pictures as I can. The frustrating thing is that this hinders the ability to remember an experience. All you're left with is a generic image, one that probably thousands of people have taken before you. The world isn't meant to be experienced this way.

To try and combat my habit of over-documentation, I've returned to shooting on 35mm film. I find myself considering the photos I take more seriously since film is limited and you have to be conscientious to not waste frames. Because of this, I've found that the subject matter I shoot is different. Rather than mindlessly photographing destinations just to keep a record, I spend a lot of time just staring through the viewfinder of my camera without shooting a single frame. And when I do take a photo, it's usually of something easily missed in the big picture — light falling through trees onto the floor of a parking garage, or people gathered on the observation deck of the space needle pointing out across the Puget Sound. These things feel denser to me, as if they carry more weight. Although we hardly ever realize it, these are the fragments of a moment that shape our memories. The Seattle skyline is always going to be the Seattle skyline, give or take a few buildings. But the people crowded around the edges, faces wrinkled or painted on, bearing tattoos or donning hats or sunglasses and gazing out over the city, they’ll be gone in moments. Humans exist in constant motion. Every exhale signifies the consumption of time, an organic moment lost to the act of living.

I would encourage everyone to try and hold on to the present a little more. Stop looking at every sight through a lens and try closing your eyes. Every place you go, the air tastes, feels, and smells different. We often don’t notice details like this because we get lost in the visuals. But I guarantee that if you put your cameras away and instead inhale the foreign air, each place you travel will stay with you long after you’ve left.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

A Beginner's Wine Appreciation Course

While I most certainly do not know everything, I feel like I know more than the average 21-year-old about vino, so I wrote this beginner's wine appreciate course to help YOU navigate the wine world and drink like a pro.

White wine being poured into a glass

Keep Reading...Show less
Types of ice cream

Who doesn't love ice cream? People from all over the world enjoy the frozen dessert, but different countries have their own twists on the classic treat.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

100 Reasons to Choose Happiness

Happy Moments to Brighten Your Day!

A man with a white beard and mustache wearing a hat

As any other person on this planet, it sometimes can be hard to find the good in things. However, as I have always tried my hardest to find happiness in any and every moment and just generally always try to find the best in every situation, I have realized that your own happiness is much more important than people often think. Finding the good in any situation can help you to find happiness in some of the simplest and unexpected places.

Keep Reading...Show less

Remember The True Meaning of Christmas

“Where are you Christmas? Why can’t I find you?”

A painting of the virgin Mary, the baby Jesus, and the wise men

It’s everyone’s favorite time of year. Christmastime is a celebration, but have we forgotten what we are supposed to be celebrating? There is a reason the holiday is called Christmas. Not presentmas. Not Santamas. Not Swiftmas. Christmas.

boy standing in front of man wearing santa claus costume Photo by __ drz __ on Unsplash

What many people forget is that there is no Christmas without Christ. Not only is this a time to spend with your family and loved ones, it is a time to reflect on the blessings we have gotten from Jesus. After all, it is His birthday.

Keep Reading...Show less
Golden retriever sat on the sand with ocean in the background
Photo by Justin Aikin on Unsplash

Anyone who knows me knows how much I adore my dog. I am constantly talking about my love for her. I attribute many of my dog's amazing qualities to her breed. She is a purebred Golden Retriever, and because of this I am a self-proclaimed expert on why these are the best pets a family could have. Here are 11 reasons why Goldens are the undisputed best dog breed in the world.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments