Sunday, June 29, 2008

Kodak moment?

You are walking along a path through an amazing and peaceful forest. Thick green moss hangs from the ancient trees while the sun, hidden by a canopy of leaves only peaks through occasionally to light the way. Almost without a sound a young deer emerges on the trail ahead and glances back to acknowledge you. She knows you mean her no harm. A small rustle in the underbrush indicates she is not alone. Silently you stand watching while her fawn, no higher than your knee and still wearing spots, carefully joins her. Together they pause no more than 30 feet in front of you before ambling along slowly, sampling the various plants along the way. They allow you to follow close behind before finally exiting the path a few hundred yards from their entry. As this scene unfolds before you, you are aware of the camera at your side. What would you do?

The scene described is one of a couple I have been blessed with in recent weeks. A memory that will remain with me for a long time, but not captured with a camera. In all such experiences, I can't bring myself to aim a lens due to a feeling inside that in some way the moment is cheapened by the attempt. It is a feeling I have learned recently that I share with more friends than I would have guessed. Your perspective would be greatly appreciated.

2 comments:

kate said...

this is something i have come to feel also in my life. i have been better served by being in the moment and burning the memory into my heart.

in the book "wabi sabi simple" (discussed recently on vandwellers) richard powell talks about this on page 14. the whole book is worth a read, i'm glad it was recommended to us.....he said "copies change the original....."

great start to your blog, mike....

DeAnna said...

I've recently come around to thinking about this a lot too. As someone who sorta hopes to be able to make money on photography, I struggle with trying to be in the moment vs trying to capture the moment. I don't seem to be able to do both.

kate, you've given me the quote I needed to be able to describe my feeling about it. I was trying to explain to someone the other day, and the best I could come up with was that I understood how native peoples sometimes felt that cameras steal your soul. I don't feel like it steals the whole thing, but some part of it for sure. Like if someone is looking at a picture of me, they are somehow having a relationship with me in which I am not consensual nor even present. Your quote says the same thing a lot more succinctly.

And I still use my camera a lot...