Friday, September 23, 2011

Another Side to Photography?

Now here's a way I hadn't thought of photography before (and I spend a lot of time thinking about photography!):  I've been reading Kate Morton's The House at Riverton (Washington Square Press, 2006, p. 301) and came across this paragraph:

It is a cruel, ironical art, photography.  The dragging of captured moments into the future; moments that should have been allowed to evaporate into the past, should exist only in memories, glimpsed through the fog of events that came after.  Photographs force us to see people before the future weighed them down, before they knew their endings.

A poetic and insightful thought, it struck me when I read it.  I found it profoundly sad to think of photos in this way.  It was a new perspective for me, to imagine looking at future photos and wondering whether those moments were meant to be preserved.  Wondering, if, in fact, that sadness would be found in the memories.  I always have more a feeling of nostalgia when I look at old photos, a feeling that time moves too quickly.  I feel, instead, that had these photos not been taken, perhaps some memories better remembered might be forgotten. 

Isn't it a wonderful thing that we do not know our futures, our endings? 

Life is beautiful, to be treasured and remembered.  Photos should bring a smile as we recall happy moments, snapshots of our lives that stop time in a way only photos and words can.

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