Thursday, February 27, 2014

Why are you taking pictures?

Even though virtually everyone carries a device that allows picture-taking, paranoia happens when one pulls out a camera. Why are you taking pictures? To take pictures is not a neutral activity. It signifies an intention, which could be threatening.

    Lohbado’s spine shivered. Heads turned when he took out his camera. A man trying to park got out of his vehicle and approached Lohbado to point out how the parking spot had no marker, so how could he pay? He thought Lohbado was a parking agent and the camera a tool of his trade.
    Lohbado took photos of brick walls and old windows for enjoyment. He was a connoisseur of architecture. Picture taking sharpened his observation. It helped him pay attention to details. Daydreaming or being spaced out gets claustrophobic. Lohbado preferred clarity, although according to Zen philosophy, one should accept what happens without clinging to clarity or trying to avoid confusion. Instead of grasping for states of mind, relax and notice whatever happens.

    Lohbado felt energized, turned on, or connected as he took pictures. Once he broke inertia and made contact with the environment, by means of the camera, a momentum carried him along. On this occasion, he pulled out the camera and an anxious man approached him with a parking issue. Next somebody gazed out a window at Lohbado taking a picture of windows, as if to take a picture of windows constituted some sort of threat.

    Why is he taking pictures? This is a hypocritical question. You know very well. Chances are you too take pictures and post them on the Internet.

    Lohbado took more pictures. A woman smiled. She enjoyed making contact with Lohbado and his camera. The act of taking pictures created a new level of contact, a level of theatre. Lohbado could act the photographer, the agent, employee of the city, an inspector, someone with some sort of professional purpose.

    Cameras are everywhere, even in outer space. Satellites are watching you. You are being watched, but you must not see. They record you through surveillance cameras, but you are discouraged from using your camera, except to take photos of yourself and friends. Take lots of selfies. Anything which reveals your private life is encouraged. The minute you turn your camera to buildings, streets, bridges, signs, to the environment, hostility could happen. You’re viewed with suspicion, as a potential threat, agitator or troublemaker. They have the right to record everything. You don’t, or at least, they’re doing their best to take away your rights.

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