The curse of the selfie
By Mark Blezard
Photography has a lot to thank the smartphone for. Not only has it introduced billions to the enjoyment of taking pictures, but it has also spiced up the game with millions of amazing apps.
Whilst purists may object to 'app manipulated' imagery, you have to acknowledge that it has also introduced new photographers who would have otherwise not engaged with the art at all.
However, there is a flip side – the selfie. During a recent trip to Venice, I was shocked by the number of tourists only willing to photograph this wonderful city via a selfie stick, themselves front-and-centre. And what's wrong with this? Well, apart from the inability to move because of the hundreds of 'static selfie obsessed' bodies, they missed the real beauty of Venice.
Holidaying today seems to comprise of reaching the major landmarks, getting the selfie stick out, click, and post to your preferred social site. It's rather like climbing Mount Everest; reach the summit, click, and back down! There is actually an app that will place you there – cheaper than a holiday!
So, the point of this rant. I'm disqualifying 'selfies' from the library of photography. It's time to look when you walk, not looking where you walk, and time to schedule 'non-selfie time.' As I've said before, one of the most important skills in photography is that of spotting opportunities. It is actually a skill, so something that needs to be practiced and used regularly.
But don't worry. When you next arrive at a famous landmark, whilst on holiday, and you realise your selfie arm has been secured to your side with duct tape, something odd will happen. After a momentary struggle, you'll start to look!