“All photographs are memento mori. To take a photograph is to participate in another person’s (or thing’s) mortality, vulnerability, mutability. Precisely by slicing out this moment and freezing it, all photographs testify to time’s relentless melt.”
Coventry St. Michael’s Cathedral Spire
This blog has a simple mandate – to share my photos and random thoughts as they come to me during the day. My camera is a Canon SX 240 HS with a zoom lens 20X. I confess that most of the time it is set on automatic so that if I see something, I simply “point and click.” Over the past few years, I have gained a greater appreciation for photography and those professionals who master the techniques and innovative technologies being developed in rapid succession.
These past four weeks have reaffirmed that photos are a record of the lives we live, a cultural reflection of our time in history. They form the collection of memories of our generation – fashion, food, architecture, transportation, work conventions and family structures. We owe a great deal to the photographers of the past. They didn’t have our digital cameras and they worked with harsh chemicals, yet their photos are a testament to their commitment to witness and record history.
In my recent travels, I embraced mobility via the iPhone. Initially, I thought it would be a good back-up, just in case my digital battery expired or I ran out of space on my SDHC Card, both of which happened. My ‘back-up’ launched my “point and click” methodology into a new realm where communication merged with photography. And this is when I had my “ah ha” moment. We intellectually understand that mobile allows multiple stories to be shared, exchanged, amplified and integrated within seconds, across a global world. It is quite another matter to experience it first hand as an active participant.
Robert Frank once said, “Above all, life for a photographer cannot be a matter of indifference.” Our ability to take countless photos does not diminish our responsibility for telling our story, for taking our place as a witness to our history.
“The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.”