Friday, October 31, 2014

Come Out from Behind the Lens

I wrote this post for my travel blog. But I thought it was worth posting here too. Because it is not just important when exploring the world, it is important when interacting with the world.

Some things are not meant to be photographed. Some things require you to be present. For you to have a direct link between it, your eye, your memory.

I minored in photography in college. I will always remember one piece of advice my favorite instructor gave:

"Be sure you don't always experience the world from behind your camera."

If you put the camera down, you are requiring yourself to engage, to see, to keep. On this trip, I took many photographs, some of those you can find on this blog. I have a lot of good ones, a few great ones, and one or two worth printing and framing. That's a decent photo ratio.

But there are some things I didn't get a photo of. And that is ok. I got the moment. The memory.

I don't have photos of polar bears. Too far away and too weak a lens. Taking Northern Lights pictures would have been impossible on the moving train leaking light pollution. And the stars... the stars...

I was only ever meant to gaze in wonder and remember.

If you take a photo of something amazing, it is wonderful and fun to look at it and reminisce.

But if you require yourself to call up a memory--to revisit a moment stored in your mind--you experience so much more. You can remember the sounds around you. The taste of the air. The surge of feelings you had.

When you look at a photograph, you remember where it was taken. When you recall a memory, you remember what happened. How you interacted with the universe at that moment.

Photos are beautiful. Memories are invaluable.

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