OPINION: How often do you consider the story behind a photo?

Kellie BalaamAlbany Advertiser
Email Kellie Balaam
Members of 816 Squadron conduct morning maintenance on a RAN Seahawk Helicopter during Exercise Kakadu 2014 at RAAF Base Darwin.
Camera IconMembers of 816 Squadron conduct morning maintenance on a RAN Seahawk Helicopter during Exercise Kakadu 2014 at RAAF Base Darwin. Credit: ABIS Tom Gibson

Imagine a world without the ability to take a photo.

We would have nothing but our memory and our artwork to help us relive a treasured moment.

Luckily, we have French inventor Joseph Nicephore Niepce to thank for clicking the very first photograph in the year 1814.

Our ability to capture these moments in time has become integral to our way of life whether you are a professional photographer or a Joe Blow who enjoys snapping shots on a phone.

The idea of cherishing a technique so effortlessly accessible these days came to me after meeting Albany local and Royal Australian Navy Lt Will Singer.

A RAN officer for eight years, Lt Singer has recently released his debut book dedicated to photography in the navy.

I could see his eyes light up with passion as he told Inspire how important it was to give the public an insight into how one-third of the defence force operates.

It is safe to assume that much of the public aren’t aware of exactly how the navy operates and just what it is capable of.

By having photographers on deployments, documenting what happens, we are exposed to a new, high-pressure world most of us will never experience first-hand.

In his book Grey Shutterbugs, Lt Singer highlights the art of photography and explores the story behind each shot.

These photographers have rare access in their role, but they also have skills behind the camera and a flair for story telling.

For them and the subjects of their photos, the navy is a cherished part of life.

This book is one example of photography’s ability to bring people together.

As Lt Singer puts it, “photographs are truly a return ticket to a moment otherwise gone”.

Next time you decide to take a photo, think about the story behind the image.

It might be worth sharing.

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