The Camera As a Distraction

Over the weekend Drew and I went on a "mini" hike (more like a hilly walk) at Rush Creek in Novato and I decided it was a mellow enough excursion for a trial run of bringing my Nikon with me.  I'm kind of an overprotective camera owner so I had been too chicken to take it on anything strenuous for fear of breaking it, but with the amazing hiking we have in the North Bay I felt like I was missing out on some great photos by leaving it behind.

So, I brought it with me, and even though the camera came home unscathed, I'm not sure I was a fan of bringing it along.  During the hike I felt like my camera was taking me out of the moment and distracting me from what was going on around me.  It reminded me of a scene from "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" where Sean O'Connell was about to get a shot of a rare snow leopard, but he doesn't take it.  Walter asks "When are you going to take it?" and Sean replies "Sometimes I don't.  If I like a moment, for me, personally, I don't like to have the distraction of the camera.  I just want to stay in it".  I can't agree with this more.  Sometimes I feel like I am so concerned about getting a good shot so that I can remember a moment for years to come, that I forget to actually be in that moment.  

It also made me think back to the days when I would only shoot film.  I couldn't just snap hundreds of photos, then go home and delete the not-so-good ones.  Each shot had to be more thought out because I only had 24 or so frames on that roll and I didn't want to waste them.  I don't think this means I need to stop bringing my camera with me, I love photography just as much as I love hiking, or any of my other hobbies.  I think I just need to get back in the habit of making every shot count, and making myself let certain shots go so I can enjoy the moment for myself.

A bit wordier than usual, but I just wanted to get those thoughts out there :).  Do you ever feel distracted by your camera?