Using the Solitude of Photography to Escape Modern Life

Photography can be a really solitary pursuit, especially in some genres that require you to venture into the wilderness by yourself, sometimes for days. This great video examines why that feeling of being alone may actually be a good thing.

Coming to you from Ben Horne, this interesting video follows him as he talks about the feeling of solitude that often comes with being a photographer and why he thinks the modern expectation of constantly being connected has magnified that feeling beyond what it used to be. There's no doubt that a lot of us feel a tinge of anxiety when we lose that connectedness, but as Horne mentions, maybe that slightly somber feeling of solitude we might feel when we head into the woods with a camera is actually a good thing — a sign that it's time to recalibrate our need to be in constant contact. I personally find that these excursions tend to have a lasting impact: when I return from such a trip, I generally find myself much less reliant on my phone. Of course, it's good to carry a phone in case something happens, but perhaps leave it switched off; you can always power it on if you need it.

Lead image by Zukiman Mohamad, used under Creative Commons.

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4 Comments

Aaron Bratkovics's picture

It's nice to chill out and just shoot. It's exhausting keeping up with life/people sometimes.

Daniel Laan's picture

Resonating a lot. Thanks for sharing, Alex. :)

A lot of my assignments require me to do things in the absence of people, and I agree it can be quite satisfying. Trekking out on foot on rough terrain at 3:30 a.m. isn't my favorite thing to do, but it's still an adventure and it's a great way to connect with oneself.

Nic Phelps's picture

Im retired US Air Force. When i returned from Iraq from doing a job there with the Army, I needed to find an outlet. I didnt want it to be drinking however, that did happen in short spirts of a few weeks here and there. What did help the most and continues to do so is photography.
Photgraphy has saved my life. It's aided in the prevention of self-harm and probably other too. I would grab my bag and just go. Get away from myself and my mind. Now I'm able to have pure zen moments while shooting and it really allows me to see through the evils.