Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Less Than Perfect

"Your photography is a record of your living, for anyone who really sees." -Paul Strand

"Instead of trying to make your life perfect, give yourself the freedom to make it an adventure, and go ever upward." -Drew Houston

Little dog, big world: views along the trail at Ebey's Landing. 

When I hike, I take a lot of photos. And because my rusty old iPhone 6S is barely up to the task, I keep my Nikon at the ready in my holster, pulling it out and firing it off to take photos every few steps along the trail. 

There's a special joy in capturing crisp, clear shots of the beautiful places I go, and compared to every other camera I've used in my life, this one takes fantastically perfect photos. 

As I was trudging along, I accidentally creased the corner of the photo on the left, 
and the instant-development chemicals created that weird little dark triangle. Another imperfection that only adds to the photo's scruffy charm. 

\So it's laughably ironic that on my left wrist usually dangles my Instax 8. Forget all the fancy dials, meters, and metrics on my DSLR; this little baby sports four light settings and an always-on flash. It spits out bitty little technically-compromised photos that do not even begin to compare to the realistic precision of my Nikon shots.

The images are blurry and the colors are a bit washed out. But when I look at these shots, I remember with perfect clarity the quality of brilliant sunlight on the sparkling water. 

But why, then, do I love my Instax photos so much? Why do I treasure each one for the tiny, precious memory it holds? Why is it that I leave my perfect digital images resting tidily on their memory cards and in neatly organized files on my desktop, while propping up my Instax shots here and there around the house, admiring them and sharing them with anyone who walks by?

I'm not sure, but maybe I'm just a little more comfortable embracing something that is less than perfect. Because things that are less than perfect are a whole lot more like me. 

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To look at technically superior photos of my delightful hike at Ebey's Landing, go here. 

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More stories about my Instax photos:

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