Monday, November 8, 2010
Trees are Bare
From The Winter Vault by Anne Michaels "...when we take a photograph - we're looking at only a few things, half a dozen or even a dozen - and yet the photo records everything in our frame of vision. And it's those thousand other details that anchor us far below what we consciously see."
Interesting that in this photo I am there in shadow form - watching. I do find in looking at photos after taking them that I see things I did not know were there (e.g. my shadow) and find ideas to think about that were not the original intention for the capture. Photography brings those things into focus.
Then there is the issue of memory. The photos sometimes become our memories. Each time we view them it reinforces that moment, that image of the event. The things not photographed lose intensity compared to those we revisit through these images. Does this distort our memories? making moments more important than others out of proportion to the experience?
I also look at photo as memory in another way - as a marker of little events. When did it first snow last year? When did the first flowers appear? I find myself looking back at the historical record. With photography we have all become social historians whether capturing events, daily life or just the change of seasons. There will be lots of fodder for future PhDs as they sift through the mountain of material we all produce and share. I wonder whose PhD will be based on the notion of 365 photos shared with others.
So photos let us see, before, during and after the photo is taken. Just a few thoughts I've been mulling over.