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Friday, July 14, 2006

Screw 'Non-Photography Day'

Yeah, yeah, I know all about "Non-Photography Day," and I think the whole idea is stupid. I photograph because it helps me see, deepens my experience, increases my awareness, and heightens my appreciation. There's absolutely no conflict, from my point of view, between photographing something and experiencing it. Nobody photographs all the time. But for me there's nothing to take a rest from, and no reason not to do what I normally do. I take pictures because I like to, not because I feel some onerous obligation to. I know one thing I'm going to do on July 17th: spend some time out and about with a camera.

Posted by: MIKE ("Bah Humbug") JOHNSTON


Blogger Max said...

Non-photography day for a person who loves the art sounds like a drug-free day to a junkie, or, in other words, hell. If we know we like photography, do we need to treat passion as if it was addiction?
May be we could also develop some kind of 12 step program to stop liking photography at all.
Somehow I feel these days there are millions of persons who have a camera and shoot pictures only because they are supposed to. Because a digicam is one of the things you can't live without by today consumer standards (even if you couldn't care less about photography). And probably these are the same people who at some point end up feeling overwhelmed by their own consumerism and demand a non-photography day.

1:25 PM  
Blogger Ken Tanaka said...

This is such a perfect example of how the Internet can be used by nearly anyone for gratuitous and pointless publicity purposes. That's very clearly exactly what this is. In a very short time this 22 yr old kid, an "artist" wannabe, (I refuse to use her name) has created a buzz about this non-event around the world.

A "Turn Your Cell Phone Off Day" I would support. But not taking social or health value whatsoever. Just publicity.

1:32 PM  
Blogger geckonia said...

Thank you for bring this to my attention. I just joined the non non photography day group at flickr. ROFLOL! So there!

1:56 PM  
Blogger Supasnapper said...

Yet another example of how the so called 'art' intelligensia seems to have lost it's way as well as 'Lost it's Head' in the previous post.

2:13 PM  
Blogger roberts2424 said...

History says that we shouldn't give such a trivial topic any attention. Otherwise, someone might think this "non-photography day" has merit.

3:41 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Ken: but if I turn off my cell phone, how can I take a picture? :-)

3:46 PM  
Blogger Dwight Jones said...

I attended a large funeral for a military friend of mine. As I sat in the back row of the balcony, I REALLY wished I had my camera. I didn't want pictures. I just wanted a prop, something that would insulate me form what was happening. I wanted a task that would occupy my mind with something less painful...

Last week, I attended a wedding and I purposely left the camera at home. There would be plenty of photos without mine. I didn't want anything to insulate me from what was going on. No distractions...

A day without photography??? probably a bad idea, but the idea behind it is good. Decide in advance when photography would be a good thing and when it would be a distraction. Feel free to leave the camera at home now and then.

Pocket cameras are a good thing because they can come out when wanted. *More importantly*, they can stay in your pocket when not wanted.

5:10 PM  
Blogger Mike Johnston said...

"Yet another example of how the so called 'art' intelligensia seems to have lost it's way"

"Art intelligentsia?" what art intelligentsia? It's some woman in England.


6:12 PM  
Blogger Nic said...

I have a class of my photo workshop on the 17th. I will enjoy it very much, hehe.

And ironically, i just got a "turn your cell phone off day" email (although it's to complain about the prices over here).

6:51 PM  
Blogger Salva said...

I've got a lot of non-photography days, I don't need another one :-)

8:58 PM  
Blogger stanco said...

I have way too many Non Photo Days as is.... but I would support (enthusiastically) a No Paparazzi Day, No Photography Police Day, or a "Please, Not Another Cindy Sherman Self Portrait Day.

9:30 PM  
Blogger Dierk Haasis said...

Hm, do I have to prove I didn't take a photo on July, 17th? Hey, I an do that - today or tomorrow if you want!

3:30 AM  
Blogger John Roberts said...

I celebrate "Turn Your Cell Phone Off Day" everyday. I loathe the things.

4:28 AM  
Blogger Gordon said...

I have sympathy for the sentiment and respect Becca's willingness to do something about it. I have felt it myself at times. Still, I will not be observing the day myself. I hope she is not put off by the somewhat harsh response.


6:57 AM  
Blogger shaggy dog pix said...

Yep - a dumb idea. I'm never more engaged with the world around me than when I'm looking at it in search of a good photograph. Things I would blow by without my giving them a thought when I don't have my camera with me get my total attention when I do have it.

11:14 AM  
Blogger Alex said...

17th non photo day I must remember to take more that day just as I spark up more tabs on non smoking day. Besides my doc says photography is good for me, I say ban the non days and keep on clicking.

2:55 PM  
Blogger lapsas said...

Happy shooting, if only the other type took a holiday

6:53 AM  
Blogger Daniel Sroka said...

The site states: "Non-photography day ... is a day to think about how life exists, in essence and not appearance..."

Well, ok, if that's what you need to do, then fine. If you feel your photography is cutting you off from the world too much, and making you focus too much on appearances, then I can see why you'd want to put your camera down once and a while. But instead of just putting the camera down, maybe you should reexamine how and what you photograph. If you feel your photography is cutting you off from the world, it might not be because of the nature of photography itself -- it might be because of how you use photography.

For me, my photography is how I *connect* to the essence of the world around me. It is how I stop looking at things reflexivity and automatically, and begin to see what is really there. It is how I connect to the world instead of just existing in it. But then again, that's just me.

8:59 AM  
Blogger wirehead said...


It's horible.

I was too busy to take pictures on non-photography day! :(

9:50 AM  

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