There are two things I dislike in this world: hospitals, and carnival (three if you put them together). The former is obviously harder to escape then, say, having to attend a carnival festival when you don’t have any nagging kids, but after an unexpected visit to a friend in hospital last year, when I happened to have my camera on me, I noticed a tendency to feel more secure and at ease by looking at my surroundings through the lens.
The reason I mention carnival is because, much after that hospital incident, I felt like challenging my hatred towards carnival and the crowds, sticky candy, and ugly colours it comes with. The only reason I wanted to do this was because I needed something fresh to photograph, and there happened to be the big Maltese carnival event that weekend. I recalled the distancing imparted by my lens a year ago in the hospital setting, and was interested to see what would happen within a different context.
Guess what? Not only did I tolerate the carnival through the lens, I actually enjoyed it! I had the option to spend most of my time viewing things selectively in between the barrier of framing, and this made the contact with my environment feel much less direct – like being placed on the usual side of the screen when watching a film, only the ‘screen’ was more like a filter before my eyes.