Taking pictures. Photography. Visual Art. Are these distinct disciplines? Is one better than another? To answer the question, I relate to my other hobby: birds!
Birdwatching. Birding. Ornithology. In most minds, those three terms conjure differing depths of avian appreciation. Bird enthusiasm ranges from the simple enjoyment of backyard birds, to submerging in state lists and big years, and even deeper into the intellectual fathoms of anatomy and natural history. The books upon the shelf range from Your Backyard Feeder to Latin Terms for Taxonomists.
But is one level of devotee better than another? Is the ornithologist more serious or dedicated than a birder? Is it wrong to only dip in our toes when we could be swimming deeper? Can we drown in the intellectual depths and forget the satisfaction of the shallows?
In reality, one can be all things, or be what one desires! In his chapter of Good Birders Still Don’t Wear White, David A. La Puma writes, “Find out what you love about birds and dive in; the pool of knowledge is deep and rich and full of others happy to help you along the way.” An ornithologist can still enjoy birdwatching just as a photographer should still delight in just “taking pictures”.
Find out what you love in this season of life and dive in. The only wrong thing to do is to completely dry up!
Photo credits: William Wise.
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