“Photographers deal in things which are continually vanishing and when they have vanished there is no contrivance on earth which can make them come back again.” – Henri Cartier-Bresson, French photographer
As seemingly depressing as this statement is, it’s bittersweet in context and surprisingly comforting.
Pictures capture moments in time, moments which were not staged, but unconscious improvisational split seconds harvested from simply living life. I’ve said it before, unwavering about what I have preached.
In time to come, considering time spanning from years to months to days to even a few hours from now, sitting down with friends to rehash the past over drinks or activities in infinite settings always defines a great time. With the art of conversation, simplistically listening to words and reading facial expressions and swimming in emotion, triggering churning cognition with did-that-really-happen’s and I-don’t-remember-that’s and wow-those-were-great-times’ reactions. Considering the time of these moments, preferably occurring in the evening, we break the day into a perfect story itself, to set the setting for the get-together in line with a climax and leading to settling in for bed as the denouement.
With photographs capturing those never-will-happen-again moments, there is no room for arguments or denial regarding said captured moment. We have concrete proof in front of our faces. We remember how we were and what we had done. How quickly everything comes back. To actually hold a picture is reassuring and comforting. When one tears, we’re unhappy about it. It’s hard to just say, “Oh, well,” and leave it at that before moving on.
One of my favorite paintings is René Magritte’s 1964 Son of Man. The poster I own and have yet to frame quotes, ” Everything we see hides another thing, we always want to see what is hidden by what we see.” Although, this is a painting, it is still a picture. I hold paintings to the same degree of art as photography. With a few things I have written, most of my ideas have been inspired by pictures. Many times, pictures relate to several people on many levels. This is why I have been questioned about incorporating my life into my fiction. Granted, fiction is fiction. Sure, some aspects of my life fill in the blanks, but I’m objective about it and I want to scrape the surface when utilizing it.
Photographs and pictures are so important to life with the simplistic reason they are what they are. This is why the background of my so-called blog is decorated with a pile of photographs, blurred. This defines that sitting mystery behind those pictures. This is to parallel that painting. You can see the pictures, but as I said they are blurred and hidden. When reading the blog, it’s obvious for you, the reader, to notice those them. I wouldn’t doubt your wondering what those pictures were and why I chose that as my background. Now, you know. I wouldn’t doubt your wondering what those pictures are actually of. Human curiosity.
When someone sees a picture, they cannot help but look. Although they may not know who is in them, it doesn’t matter. The viewer will relate in some way. To emphisize this:
When looking for photography-related quotes on my favorite quotations website, The Quotations Page, similar to my first quote, using that quote since I knew who that gentleman is (not personally), I came across another good one:
“We try to grab pieces of our lives as they speed past us. Photographs freeze those pieces and help us remember how we were. We don’t know these lost people but if you look around, you’ll find someone just like them” – Gene McSweeney
Humans are nosey and want to be let in on other people’s lives. We relate. In essence, we sympathize and our hearts are warmed. We laugh, we cry, and we simply are. It’s true. Photographs are easily relatable.
I’m not a photographer, but I love taking pictures. Many say I have a great eye and I thank them for the compliments. Recognizing my having an eye, personally, is difficult to see. A moment dawns on me and my reaction is taking a picture. It’s simply that, although playing with a camera’s settings is fun. Utilizing natural light opposed to using a flash is my preference, too. I also don’t want to leave a moment in the dust, so getting trigger happy will happen. Then, again, I do consider myself a lover of the arts. Balancing my loves of the arts, sport, and a number of other things is difficult to balance. It’s especially hard when sitting, staring across the water or watching a sunset is mystically endearing. Silence and taking in the moment has never been so vogue. Time flies by and is not regretted. With refefrencing Magritte’s quote, this goes along with taking a moment to analyze and look deeply into pictures and photos, wringing out as much possibility and life as best we can, wondering beyond what is in front to get to the background.
I digress further, but thanking Dr. Ashok Malhotra for spiritually changing my life with his Mysticism and Meditation course at Oneonta is the least I can do.
One day, I want a nook of my home’s bookshelf to be filled with photo albums. With technology, I never think to start printing the pictures out, but it’s just convenient nowadays. Fortunately, a computer provides a great medium for viewing. I’ll just have to be objectionable and pick and choose wisely. This is simply so when people come over we can all sit around and wish we could go back.