Photographing Memories

Three weeks after the first day of school, I have officially morphed into both a night owl and an early bird, written a 6-page essay, and learned more math than I ever have. It’s been a month since I touched a film camera, let alone clicked the shutter, but I think that there is something wonderful about experiencing life as it comes, rather than looking to preserve moments in film negatives. Still, though, I miss the Minolta that is sitting in my room, cold and alone.

When I began taking photographs, I was in awe of this fantastic way of preserving the present the way you wanted to remember it. You could manipulate the subjects, wait for the perfect moment, carefully compose the picture, and change the interpretation of reality. But it wasn’t until I came to college, left my camera behind, and experienced the “present”ness of life’s moments that I realized that photography came at a cost. To take a snapshot is to haphazardly point and shoot, is to record what the camera sees in that spontaneous moment, and the mood is virtually untainted by human interpretation. But to take a photograph is to remove yourself from the scene, assess its artistic value, and then manipulate reality to make a point. And as such, in photographing the moment, you displace yourself from that moment, and while you preserve your interpretation of the moment, you lose the moment itself.

I have found that, when I am without a camera hanging around my neck, social situations have more potential for awkwardness. That is, without photography to “fall back on” when conversations die, I am stuck having to try and “save” the situation. Without a camera, I am left entirely to my own devises, devoid of a simple “escape route.” As such, being separated from my Minolta has forced me into the present, to experience each moment as it comes, and to enjoy life with every moment it doles out of its pocket.

Still, though, I love photography, and oftentimes, I wish that it were here by my side, waiting for its shutter to be clicked, a star to fall, and something—someone—to change its life.

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~ by thechanster on 8:39 pm, Sunday, October 12, 2008.

One Response to “Photographing Memories”

  1. “3×5”
    John Mayer

    you should listen to it : )

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