Don’t think, just click!


    By Bea Payla

    It’s ironic how our aspirations for perfection are what restricts us the most. I’d like to believe that I’m pretty passionate about photography, but I’ll let you in on a little secret. Every time I get transfixed into this hobby, I become transfixed by the masters, and then I become internally shamed by them. I look at these ordinary people on the internet, capable of entrapping the serenity of a humble town with a camera just like my own, and I get this hope, a great ambition.

    My family and I often go out to regional areas in Victoria, like Warrnambool and Ballarat. So once in a while, I bring my camera along. I carefully place and angle my shots, just like the experts, hoping that my images are as good as my camera preview leads me to believe. However, when I plug in my SD card and start to unpack my photos, I am rudely confronted by the reality of them. All the photos are a blurry and uncoordinated mess. I can’t help but become a teensy bit disappointed. Actually, not teensy.

    I share the universal experience of becoming hyper-fixated on minuscule, unnecessary details and scrutinising my work to the point of defeat. Where does this lead me? On a dangerous cycle, where I put the camera away for months, while still hoping that one day I’ll magically pick up the camera and be some diploma-ready photographic mastermind, who understands all the secrets of camera thingies. 

    But the last time I went on a trip with my camera, I had a little bit of an epiphany. I became very tired of hindering myself whilst taking photos, staying incredibly still, or running incredibly fast from one location to the next just to be disappointed with the outcome. So I thought, ‘screw it’. Whatever I saw, I just… clicked! That bird looks funny. Click! My shoes are so dirty. Click! Dad’s expressions are so unique. Click! In the end, I had this entire gallery of odd angles, odd subjects, and extremely odd choices of light. But within all these mistakes were these miracle photos that I would’ve never been able to take or even thought of taking before. 

    It’s this realisation that photography isn’t necessarily about capturing perfectly timed sunsets or star-filled skies, but an acknowledgment of the failures we make. Photography is about the journey which we take to develop our skills (that includes happy mistakes), and even more it is about our individuality. 

    To all the aspiring photographers out here, it’s cool to know all the technological stuff, but it’s equally as important to let all that obsession go. Just click, don’t think. And then don’t stop clicking. Somehow, in that vortex of blurred movement and unpredictable chaos, there will invariably be a single photo embodying the magic of a million stories and the great backstory of the tenacious journey to capture that beauty.

    Our content is a labour of love, crafted by dedicated volunteers who are passionate about the west. We encourage submissions from our community, particularly stories about your own experiences, family history, local issues, your suburb, community events, local history, human interest stories, food, the arts, and environmental matters. Below are articles created by community contributors. You can find their names in the bylines.

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