Multitasking. It’s a moniker that so many people in today’s society prize. The other day I was at a local coffee shop and watched as one young woman was speaking to her friend, while she was texting on her phone and responding to her friend’s questions, with the obligatory ‘uh-huh.’ It was obvious that the young woman was not paying attention to her flesh and blood table mate, but was concentrating more on her virtual friend to whom she was texting.
Now multi tasking is something I do when I am performing tasks. I often come home from a street shoot session and load my CF card into my computer to begin downloading my day’s images while I get undressed, put my laundry in the washer, pick up the clothing I had left around the house and go to the long overdue bathroom break I neglected while I was out shooting. I put a cup of coffee on and have so many things going on at once while my images are downloading. For me that’s task multi tasking.
But just the other day while Tracy and I were at Filoli gardens in Woodside, CA my cell phone rang. I looked at the number to ensure that it was not one of my children or family in need of my attention. Since it was not any of those numbers, I simply put my phone away and went about enjoying what I came to enjoy, the garden and beauty of the day. I have come to realize that I have missed so much in life by not being present in the moment. Why bother to go or do anything when you are thinking about or paying attention to something else?
So I began to relate my musings about the phenomenon of multi tasking to photography. When I go out specifically to shoot, I am anything but relaxed and multi tasking, which I’ve mentioned here many times. I am ‘hunting’ and I have felt that way for quite some time. I read today a passage that eloquently describes my feeling – “The photo is the hunt, it’s the instinct of hunting without the desire to kill. It’s the hunt of angels. You trail, you aim, you fire and — click! — instead of a dead man, you make him everlasting.” – Chris Marker
I find that when the subject which are important to me present themselves, I no longer multi task. And that includes being present with those I love and when I am hunting.