What is a Shootaboot?

VWS9555 Last of the sun at Greenwich

What is a Shootaboot? A Shootaboot is an activity somewhere, anywhere, with a camera where one takes as many photographs as relevant and shares them on flickr. It helps if you are a member of www.flickr.com/groups/shootaboot because that is how the activity came about.

Why take photographs? Why not? Photography is important to me for many reasons but most of all for the way I can look back over the Shootaboots and remember great days out with my friends. I look at the photographs and they make me smile. They reflect my life. They tell a story of my day… my life… the joy of seeing. We all see things. What do I mean about seeing?

Photography has changed the way I see the world. Before I got so involved with photography I just looked at people around me, and the things in my environment but I did not actually see them. They were just there. Yes, I saw a tree in a field, a sheep with a lamb, or someone standing in front of a window at night. What I missed was the shadow of the tree, the light shining through its branches, the shine on the leaf as the sun shone brightly upon it. I saw the sheep with the lamb but I did not see the expression on the face of the mother and baby, or their deep, dark eyes. I did not identify the softness of the wool on their coats, or how at certain times of day, the wool of their coats shines at the edges as the sun catches it. I saw someone standing beside a window at night. I did not see their reflection, or their expression, I did not look at how or why they were standing the way they did. I never took any notice of their body language. I missed their individuality, their character.

Does it really matter? I think it does. If we all spent ten minutes really looking at the people in our lives, the rooms we live in and the places we travel too, it might just happen that we will learn to understand our reactions to each other, and we will appreciate the space in which we move. At the very least, we might realise that the photograph we took on our camera or mobile phone captured a moment in our time that can never come again, and the photograph became a part of our history.

Even if the photograph is unimportant to you, so many people have become interested in geneaology that if you capture moments of your life they can be made available to those of your descendents who want to know about you.

Use your camera to show them – and you – who you are!

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