Living within a photograph

A photograph is usually looked at – seldom looked into.  ~Ansel Adams

It’s no secret that I’ve loved photography all my life.  For me it’s more than just capturing a pretty picture.  It’s about preserving that moment in time.  Something no one can ever take away from you – the feeling you felt when you took that picture.  The photograph is meant to be so powerful that you are instantly taken back to that place as if it was yesterday.  To relive that moment for as long as you wish to look into the image. The smell of the air, the sounds around you and the wind blowing ever so slightly.  For me, a photograph is like a quick index to parts of my brain that might otherwise take me hours or days to remember.  Of the thousands of photos I’ve taken in my life, I can remember exactly where I was when I took each one.  Was I standing, kneeling, laying down, what camera I was using, what I did before and after taking that image.  Nothing else in life can even begin to compare to the resonating value of being able to preserve a life experience.  Forever.

I never truly understood the power of the photograph when I was young.  Being forced to sit with my grandparents and flip through boring photo albums of people I didn’t know, vacations I wasn’t on.  It was all very difficult for a young, hyper kid who wanted nothing more than to go play.  It wasn’t until I picked up a camera of my own that I realized how important those photos were to them.  I can only begin to imagine what the photos I’m taking now will mean to me as I age. Fifty years from now, if I can look at a photograph that I may take next month and be instantly transported back to age 33, being healthy and free with the heart of an explorer, I may stare at it a while.  It’s not because I’m trying to recall it, it’s because I’m living within that moment.  You’ll know when I’m done, when I look up from the picture and smile.

Within a photograph, our minds can live forever.

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2 thoughts on “Living within a photograph

  1. Pingback: The world I know « Wayfaring Westward

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