There is something magical about photography to me. I find it is a way to freeze time almost. Photographs show a glimpse of a present moment, bringing it into the future.
Photography has also been a factor in my appreciation of life. As a walk around, I notice more. I see tiny details. I appreciate textures. I study natural light. It is though there is a constant lens on my eyes that filters out all the world’s bad so that I can only see the good.
Yet, this constant lens can also be a way to detach from the moment.
Recently, I went on vacation with my love. We went off to an island to relax. I was surrounded by topical wonders: beaches, waterfalls, flowers and so much more. On our first day, we were walking around checking out the resort, and I noticed my mental lens was in overdrive. I was thinking, oh, that would make a nice picture... Then it dawned on me, by looking at everything as a future picture, I was not completely in the moment. I was thinking about photographs and not the man standing beside me.
In that moment, I had to remove the lens from my eyes. I had to stop capturing the moment for later so that I could embrace it then. I still noticed the wonder around me, but this time, I tried to focus on what is was and not the photo it could be.
I also made a conscious decision to not carry a camera around constantly. I took photos of course, but I limited it to a couple of hours during the week.
It was hard, I admit. Here I was in a tropical resort and no camera in hand. Isn’t that a photographer’s worst nightmare? I survived though. As a matter of fact, I had fun.
Without a big camera to worry about or lug around, my boyfriend and I were able to just be. We held hands on the beach. We hiked up a waterfall. We danced on a catamaran. It was exciting, and yet relaxing…and truly beautiful.
This beauty may not have all been captured in photos, but it was captured in my heart nonetheless. Ironically, as I looked for a quote on details to accompany my macro submission to Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge, I came across a quote by Susan Sontag that said what I felt that week.
I would have to agree with her. Many times, my travel somewhere is defined by the photographs I harvest. In fact, when I left for the vacation, I was thinking about what iPhone photos I could take for Sally D’s Challenge. I planned on making a post there at the resort.
That plan changed though as life took over and fun was embraced…and I don’t regret it one bit (and I knew Sally would understand).
So in lieu of a macro shots from my vacation, I am sharing some iPhone close ups that I had intended on posting earlier.
And since Sally D has introduced me to Pixlr, I played around with one of them to make it more “arty.”
As I started this post I was going to write a poem or talk about details that connected to my iPhone shots above. However, when I found the Susan Sontag quote above, my thoughts all turned. And when I looked up a bit more Sontag, I found another quote that really resounded with me.
Photographs have increased our access to knowledge and experiences of history and faraway places, but the images may replace direct experience and limit reality.
I find that statement very profound because when I look at my shots above, I can only recall the pictures. I don’t recall where I was or what I was doing, which I generally do. I don’t remember anything about the moment I took those pictures at all. I just have the photos. Though I like them, I now wonder, what did I miss?
Perhaps putting down the camera last week was the best decision for my vacation.
I am not saying that I am hanging up my camera for good. Oh no, I wouldn’t be me without one. But maybe just maybe, I can try to look at the world and enjoy it and those around me without a constant lens on my eyes. I figure, if I put down the the camera from time to time, I can not only see the details and textures in life, but I can feel them as well.
So in honor of embracing all that life can offer, here is one of the few iPhone shots we took while on the island. Now go put away your phone or computer and go hug those you love:)