In praise of snails

July 25, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

Taking pictures of people is fraught with difficulty.  I don't mean technical difficulty, although that is certainly an issue.  I mean the sense of invading people's space.  In some cultures, taking a photograph is taking a part of a person's soul.  I think I get that.  It is fine when you are invited.  But otherwise it is at least problematic.  And I don't like to think of someone training their telephoto lens on me.  

Snails are different. I will not here deliberate on snail souls!  But as far as I am aware no snail has ever had any difficulty posing for my camera and I have never had any difficulty taking their portrait.  Except, of course, for the physical exertion required to get down to their level.

Believe me, it is worth the effort.  There is a whole world waiting to be discovered.  A different landscape.  One where grey skies don't matter - in fact they are often a positive advantage as they cast a diffused and gentle light.  And rain adds varnish to the colour.

I found this little chap in the sand dunes of Portstewart strand.  I suspect there were a few strange looks, and I heard some barely suppressed giggles, at the sight of me stretched out like a sniper in the sand, shooting snails.  No matter.  Never let false dignity get in the way of capturing real beauty.


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