Adam Pollard does a Blog

uh oh.. he has found a medium to express himself

I wish I was him

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I wrote this short essay a while back. It was originally going to be one of my essays for US uni application – but now I’m off to Cambridge soon, and it’s lying around a bit redundant. It’s extreme sport related, and I kind of like it, so on the blog it goes :).


Pictures are reminders of what a good time we’d be having, if we weren’t so busy taking pictures”, my friend would say whenever we stopped to take photos. It wasn’t that he didn’t like the images; he really enjoyed them actually. He would regularly see photos in magazines and say, “I wish I was him”. However, the process of taking photos can be tiresome, and he just wanted to carry on enjoying himself.

This paradox in action sport photography has crossed my mind many times while standing at the top of an ineffably perfect bike trail or ski run. As an avid photographer I would want to document the experience, to show everyone the beauty of the area we were in, the run I had just done, or to record some kind of dangerous stunt someone was doing. Nevertheless, my passion for getting the ‘perfect shot’ is usually curtailed – more often than not by my equally poignant passion for experiencing the euphoric rush that comes from mountain biking, skiing, skateboarding or whatever else it may be.

I’ve spent my life indulging in outdoor pursuits. To this day, I can say without qualm, that nothing ruins a day more than someone with a camera, assiduously making the group stop to take pictures. The sole exception to this is in the case of a big gap or drop that has taken weeks to build. Stunts like this are usually built only in the knowledge that the event will be documented through photos and film.

However, the products of arduously carrying around heavy backpacks and irritating everyone you know are those rare, memorising images that inspire and motivate. The image alone is enough to get you out in the rain building that ultimate line, or to get you hiking that secret backcountry powder stash you’ve been meaning to for seasons.

So, next time you find yourself at the top of one those perfect runs, in a verdant forest or snowy nirvana, take a moment to remember those photographers who gave you the motivation you needed to get out there in the first place. I’m sure if they could see you, they’d be thinking only one thing…”I wish I was him”.

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Written by Adam Pollard

September 2, 2009 at 6:29 pm

Posted in Thoughts

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