The Photograph-ed vs. the Photograph-er

Photography, like most other artistic activities, was once only practiced by the elite. To do something solely for the purpose of creating, one needed to invest not only time but money; two things that the working class had precious little of to spare. This changed slightly with the invention of roll film and handheld cameras but not drastically. It wasn’t until the medium became mechanized, and the average Joe could take their exposed film to someone to get it developed and printed by a machine in one hour, that photography became a hobby of the masses. Then digital cameras were invented and photography became even easier for people to play with. As the years and technology advanced cameras got smaller, cheaper and eventually have been incorporated into every phone, device and electronic gadget out there. Photography has evolved from a purely artistic endeavour, to a profession, to a hobby, to an everyday/everybody activity.

I mention this because yesterday, as we motored down the Diamond Narrows inside the Vona Vona Lagoon we passed by a well-kept house with a sprawling front yard that fronted the water. In the garden was the large Solomon Island family that lived there; the adults sitting in the shade of a big tree and the kids playing on a rope swing that swung out over the water. As the name implies the waterway we were navigating wasn’t particularly wide so we were virtually in their front yard. As usual when we pass other boats or people onshore we smiled and waved and said “Halo!” We were greeted by wide smiles and enthusiastic waves . I wanted to take a photo as their property was well kept and their house brightly painted, in fact I had my camera in my hand, but now that they were all looking in our direction it felt intrusive.
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