The Sacred Duty of Photography, by Peter Hasert

Red Kite in flight by Peter Hasert
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Peter Hasert

I had been intuiting about this thing called photography for some time. Somewhere in the deep recesses of my being it seemed there was a whisper trying to tell me something. I knew there was something significant about photography that I had not grasped yet, at least not consciously.

That is, until it finally hit home.

One early morning, photo-gear stored in rucksack, I made my way on foot past hundreds of cars frantically navigating the traffic, pre-COVID of course. I noticed that all their occupants seemed frantically trying to get somewhere, and I wondered for what purpose? Yes, we could say they were going somewhere to build, or repair something or maybe to offer valuable advice or some other essential service.

But were they happy I wondered? And why do we do what we do?

While living in Germany for seventeen years, I also tried to get somewhere, usually at 05:20 driving one hundred miles an hour, quite literally, to get to Frankfurt. And yet it never really felt as if I ever arrived where I wanted to be. Of course I arrived at the office to do the checks on the servers and systems, but was I really where I wanted to be? Was this my destination?

One thing was clear, I wasn’t a happy camper.

I watched the traffic stop, start, stop, start, stop, start, and wondered if the drivers were happy about where they were going , and how they were getting there, their lives I mean. Perhaps they felt the same about their lives? Stop, start, stop, start, stop, start, mixed with frustration. As I looked at the birds, bees and flowers, my attention fell on the breeze, nature’s eclectic mix of colours, and the morning rays of sunshine that warmed my face, and it all looked and felt so wonderfully glorious.

And somehow I felt much closer to where I wanted to be.

In that moment the still small whisper seemed much clearer. The noise of the traffic and the distress of the road users seemed to amplify it. The role of a photographer, could ideally serve as a sublime counter balance to the frenzy of so-called modern life, I thought.

Photography, as an art, serves to balance the chaos we loose ourselves in. It helps us remember the beauty that is still to be found out there away from the maddening machinery we call the economy. And perhaps a specific photo could aid as a signpost pointing us in the right direction, to where we really are meant to be. A place more authentic and more humane.

Many people don’t feel alive, at least not as they would hope to. As a photographer, I hope that I could take the photo that may provide that micro respite from the daily grind for someone somewhere. To inspire them to be a better version of themselves and remember that they are here, not just to feed the machinery but to live a meaningful life.

I witness the marvellous, the miraculous, and yes the sacred spectacle of life as it unfolds around me in all its magnificent glory, and I try to capture it as best I can, for others. I have this duty and privilege to glean fragments of beauty and glory from the world around us, and share it with others who couldn’t be there to witness the miracle.

That I believe is the sacred duty of the photographer.

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**𝐉𝐔𝐋𝐘 𝐈𝐒𝐒𝐔𝐄 𝐎𝐔𝐓 𝐍𝐎𝐖**Hello Readers,Welcome to the 𝐉𝐔𝐋𝐘 issue of Look Local Magazine. Did you know its 𝗡𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝗮𝗹 𝗕𝗕𝗤 𝗪𝗲𝗲𝗸 from 4th July, so there’s no time like the present to fire up the old smoky joe and chuck on some delicious summer grub. Not that us Brits need an excuse to dine alfresco as soon as the sun shines! For those of you who haven’t joined the 8.8 million Brits set to go meat-free this year (up 22% YOY)*, turn to page 8 for a 𝗦𝗣𝗘𝗖𝗜𝗔𝗟 𝗗𝗜𝗦𝗖𝗢𝗨𝗡𝗧 off your first order at 𝗪𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗿𝗽𝗲𝗿𝗿𝘆 𝗙𝗮𝗿𝗺 𝗦𝗵𝗼𝗽. They sell a huge variety of homegrown meats from their family farm in the Oxfordshire countryside as well as eggs, pies and eco-refill whole-foods. For those who have opted for a vegan or vegetarian diet or have BBQ guests who are and are struggling for ideas on what to cook, turn to page 9 for a delicious meat-free burger option from plant-based food brand Gourmet Garden. They have created a vast selection of vegan burgers, fillet pieces, mince and sausages and their website contains loads of recipe inspiration, so check them out.It is also time for us to get out and enjoy some foot-stomping, heart-pounding, head-bobbing, local music as festival season is well and truly upon us! 𝗦𝗮𝘁𝘂𝗿𝗱𝗮𝘆 𝟵𝘁𝗵 𝗝𝘂𝗹𝘆 sees the return of 𝗧𝗵𝗮𝗺𝗲 𝗧𝗼𝘄𝗻 𝗠𝘂𝘀𝗶𝗰 𝗙𝗲𝘀𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗮𝗹, with venues across the town and a main stage next to the town hall promising to come alive with a wonderful array of live music. The much-loved and much-missed, 𝗧𝗼𝘄𝗲𝗿𝘀𝗲𝘆 𝗙𝗲𝘀𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗮𝗹 returns in August after a 2 year hiatus (due to covid) in the new location of Claydon Country Estate in Buckinghamshire. It is set to be bigger and better than ever offering a genuine community of music, creativity, friendship, and fun. Turn to our Sound of Music feature on pages 14/15 for more information on both of these festivals.And whilst on the subject of the arts and entertainment, we have another 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗽𝗲𝘁𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 for you! Courtesy of the 𝗧𝗵𝗮𝗺𝗲 𝗣𝗹𝗮𝘆𝗲𝗿𝘀 𝗧𝗵𝗲𝗮𝘁𝗿𝗲, we have a 𝗙𝗮𝗺𝗶𝗹𝘆 𝗧𝗶𝗰𝗸𝗲𝘁 𝘁𝗼 𝗴𝗶𝘃𝗲𝗮𝘄𝗮𝘆 to one of their fantastic shows. 𝗧𝘂𝗿𝗻 𝘁𝗼 𝗽𝗮𝗴𝗲 𝟭𝟳 𝘁𝗼 𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗿. As always, please continue to shop and support local when requiring any services or looking for places to visit, and if you are a local business looking to promote your services do get in touch and/or follow us on Social Media - I am always happy to share your news online. Love Emma xFor Advertising contact 07707 386034 orEmail: Online Version can be read here: #localmagazine #looklocalmagazine #whatsoninoxfordshire #communitymag #thame #advertiselocal #supportlocal #supportlocalbusiness #oxfordshiremagazine #smallbusinessesinoxfordshire ... See MoreSee Less

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