Blur Circle

Steve Yost's weblog
April 14, 2002
Blogging is better than photography

When I started photography as a hobby years ago, I found myself mentally framing all I saw, looking for photo subjects and compositions. This heightened my visual awareness in general, and specifically I was more sensitive to colors, shadow and light, and lines: beauty in the abstract everywhere. But it was accompanied by a sort of acquisitive frame of mind. Everything was open to potential capture on my film -- the tourist syndrome. The constant evaluation got in the way of the pure joy of seeing. But would I have seen so consciously without the photograph potential? I've read Susan Sontag's On Photography, which must have covered this, but I don't remember the details.

Now that I'm starting to put consistent effort into this weblog there's a similar effect. The benefits and drawbacks are similar but, I think, more positive. A thought or experience strikes me, and I immediately consider blogging it. That frames the thought and makes me chew on it further. If I decide to write about it, the writing brings out even more (much more than framing and squeezing a shutter, in fact).

I used to have a similar thing: my good friend Jeff and I exchanged snail mail over the years -- mostly glimpses of subtly quirky things. It kept my radar tuned for the "interesting" parts of the world -- the world as potential Jeff-letter material. Our schtick involved a more skewed viewpoint than this weblog does, so it had a bigger "framing" impact. Writers of all kinds must have the same experience -- looking for material in everything. Yes? Discuss

All that said, I'll be careful not to start viewing the world as potential weblog material.

Has Susan Sontag written "On Blogging"? She should, but surely someone else has beaten her to it.

April 14, 2002 08:03 AM