It is fashionable to bemoan the modern practice of photography, to see it as an addiction, as a distraction, as something mindless that distracts us away from the moment, that stops us from being truly present, and prevents us from remembering.

Of course, some photography is practised that way.

But like anything, be it writing, or playing the piano, or climbing up a mountain, it depends on how you do it.

For it is perfectly possible to take photographs in a way that doesn’t make you more likely to forget, but rather: more likely to remember.

It is perfectly possible to take photographs in a way that doesn’t distract you from the moment, but takes you further and further into it.

I mean, it is possible that you might just have stopped by a beach in winter, and noticed the falling of the light.

car park light

It is possible that you might meander by the shore just looking through the lens, just watching and allowing, just clicking and pointing, just letting the light fall, just watching and allowing:


It is possible that you might just watch until the time and the day and the details of the moment get lost within the colour and the light, within the splash of blue and kiss of winter, within the light





always shifting on the shore

until there is nothing more that you can do but watch and gasp and point and shoot and click and zoom and watch allowing


until you are no longer taking a photograph of the landscape but are fully present in the landscape, part and parcel of the scene, simply clicking and allowing,

light on the sand

and letting the light move through you,

like a wave.


Prompted by this Guardian article on our ‘addiction’ to photography.

The photographs are from the beach at Girvan, on the Clyde coast.

2 Replies to “Like a Wave

  1. I’m with you. In my case, I see things when I have a camera in my hand that otherwise I wouldn’t. And I remember and marvel anew each time I look at the images.

    • That’s it entirely Jim. I know I see so much now that I wouldn’t have done before – and oddly, sometimes even on the days when I don’t have my camera. I think the lens trains your eye (mind, memory, heart).

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