일상 literally means daily. It is one of the most popular tags on Instagram here in Korea. I always thought it was a funny one. I didn’t really get it.
The “daily” photo.
Then one day my phone ran out of memory. I was shocked. I checked the settings only to figure out photos were a big problem. I looked through my camera roll only to see I took quite a few more photos on my phone than I thought.
Then it sort of clicked. The daily photo. For me, I actually don’t carry my camera around all the time. I took a lot of photos when I didn’t have a camera or when I only had a film camera. Took a lot of photos of things I thought were interesting but not necessarily “worth” using a frame that cost almost a dollar.
I thought it might be a good idea to go through them. Whilst doing so I realized there was something interesting about them. Being in colour, for one. I set all my cameras to black and white and very rarely shoot colour film anymore.
I honestly couldn’t even remember taking most of the photos. I couldn’t even remember where a lot of them were taken. So take the descriptions with a grain of salt.
Another interesting thing for me was that almost all of the photos I found were upright. I rarely shoot portrait orientation with a “real” camera. A different perspective.
I shot them all on the same app with the same filter, ha. I didn’t bother to change it or was too lazy to do so.
Perhaps the strangest thing is that a lot of the photos didn’t feel like mine.
I don’t know how to explain this. When I looked through them I almost felt like I was looking at someone else’s work. Maybe it was because I didn’t remember taking a lot of them.
It was a really weird feeling. Almost reminded me of the feeling I get when hearing a story about something funny I’ve done while drunk.
Some of them I remember of course. I used this (above) in a post about iPhoneography a while back. I wouldn’t necessarily call the ones I used in that post daily “일상” photos. I think I was too conscious while taking them.
Whether these are better or worse than my other photos, I’m not sure. I feel like they are purer. Purer for the simple fact that I didn’t think at all while taking them. I don’t even remember why I took them. They aren’t necessarily photos of people I know or of things I was doing.
Whatever they are, I think the one thing I’ve learned from finding them is that I am really a photographer in my soul.
There is no other explanation for why I took so many of these photos. I guess I was more surprised than anything else.
I’m not complaining. It is one of the cooler moments I’ve had in photography. The realization of how important it is to me.
I mean, I always knew I loved it. However, for any of you that have followed me for a long time might have noticed I far too often explain my feelings about photography in a way that would downplay that importance.
I too often say things like “I only take photos because I’m bored.” While I believe this to be somewhat true, I think boredom is a conscious thing. I know I’m bored and so, I take photos to fill time.
But these photos I took without that cause and effect. The simple fact of the matter is I took them because my routine revolves around taking photos. It is what I do.
It is my routine. My routine is to take photos. I always say I don’t go on photowalks. I don’t go out with the thought of taking photos.
While this may very well be true I think this experience has taught me that I think this way because I probably spend most of my time thinking about taking photos. Without actually thinking about taking photos, ha.
I guess that is the definition of 일상 for me. I take daily photos even when I don’t know I’m doing it. Funny thing, that. I suppose the sad thing is now that I’ve realized I’m doing it it probably won’t be the same.
Was a good run at least.