After 37 years, it’s time to come clean. I have an addiction, and it’s one I’m not necessarily proud of. My addiction has, at times, come between me and my family. It takes time away from chores that need to be done. It’s put a damper on relaxing vacations, created a bit of strife at parties and gatherings. It’s not smoking, alcohol or drugs.
Hi, I’m Scott, and I’m a Photoholic.
Every day, my head feels like it’s on a swivel – twisting and turning – looking at our world a little bit differently than most people. I see my surroundings as a gigantic canvas, and I’m picking pictures out of it. I often joke that the only function of the left side of my brain, is to hold the right side in place, and it certainly feels like it. I’m no mathematician by any sense of the term, but I easily find, so perfectly coined by fellow photographer, Dewitt Jones, as “seeing the extraordinary in the ordinary.”
I usually soothe this addiction by carrying a camera with me, grabbing images as I see them. There are instances when something magical happens, and my camera isn’t there, and I become upset with myself for not carrying a camera with me. My wife will be the first to tell you about the “signs” – my hands grip the steering wheel of the truck to the point my knuckles turn white. I begin to mutter things like, “Oh gosh, that sky will look tremendous in five minutes” or “darn it, darn it, darn it,” or the ever-popular “AAACCCCKKK!!!”
And God forbid I have a camera with me, and either the battery is dead or I forgot to out the memory card back in – I have a tough time dealing with my own stupidity. Some of it comes from my “I’m a pro, and I should know better” mentality. When this happens among friends, they can’t help but laugh at me: the photographer that has the patience and persistence to go back to the same location night after night to get the right sunset, but internally becomes a raging 12-year-old brat when he can’t take a picture.
I’m trying to get better. Really I am. While there’s no 12-step program (that I know of at least) for Photoholism, I’ve got a routine that works pretty well: Close my eyes and do some deep breathing until either the scene changes, or the light fades – Just don’t do that while driving, or there might be an impromptu air bag test.
My mother (bless her) tells me to keep what I’ve seen in my mind and heart, that there’ll be another one like it soon enough. Her words are semi-comforting, as I know that no two sunsets are alike, and I’m anal enough to want the one that’s unfolded before me, because it was SO DARN COOL!
Alas, I know that I can’t capture everything, just like I can’t have everything (I’ve been asking Santa for a 1972 Lamborghini Miura SV since I was seven-years-old, and I still don’t have one). But as long as I can remember it from my mental camera, that’ll have to work… until someone figures out how to implant a Canon 5D MARK III with a 16-35mm f/2.8 lens in my forehead.