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  • Writer's pictureEric Bunch

“THE BUDDY SYSTEM” Episode 1-4


There have been many mornings where I found myself sitting on a mountain ridge, or standing at the edge of a lake, waiting for the sun to peek over the horizon to light up the top of a craggy mountain, or a bird to take flight from its hidden perch.

These solitary moments can be soul-inspiring, and they can be a time of great reflection and searching. In this way, I often feel connected to God and the vibrant world around me. What a blessing it is to be alive, to breathe, and to see, feel, and sense the myriad of creations that bring joy and interest to this fascinating experience we call life.

It’s only natural to want to share these things. That’s the wonder of photography in the first place, that we get to share these experiences with those who couldn’t be there.

Sometimes I like to share these mornings with a friend. Not at a later time, telling them that the image on my phone doesn’t quite describe what it was like, but I like to share these mornings in the moment, with a friend who is present, someone who may be standing feet apart from me, pointing their camera at the same scene I’m enjoying.

Not only do I get to watch them work, and learn from their technique, I also gain insight into their reasoning behind their art and their approach to viewing the world. This can inspire my work and help me to refine my techniques and methods in photography.

Admittedly, the photograph only appeals to one of our senses, the visual, in describing the scene or moment of time before us. When you’re there, when you’ve woken up at four in the morning to hike into some remote location, and have braved the cold and wet to make an image, there are so many more senses enlivened by the experience that a photograph can only do so much to recall it. The smells, the temperature, the sounds, and the sense of light from the sun falling on your face create a symphony of feelings and emotions that simply don’t translate to a sensor or square of plastic film.

Photography with a buddy can make a morning more immersive, and more engaging as you share your thoughts and joy with the one next to you. It’s more than watching them work, it’s discovering how they take in the world, and how they respond to the very same elements that provide the experience, and in a way, it helps you discover your own thoughts and feelings on the matter.

So next time you venture into the world with a camera in hand, take a friend and share with them a moment in time that only the two of you will fully appreciate.

-Eric Bunch

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