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Appreciating a Photograph
Wednesday, Aug 9, 2006 from Lansing, Michigan
Posted: Aug 9, 2006 | 398 words | 0 Comments
The camera has been preserving moments of time for nearly 200 years. Millions of photos are being taken daily with digital cameras. I can grab my camera and in seconds display a photo on the World Wide Web for anybody to access. I can capture 1⁄8,000 of a second of time. Just a fraction of the day, a very tiny fraction, in one small part of the world. As I spend a year photographing from state to state I need to appreciate those moments, appreciate the photograph.
There will be several things I do and see where I won’t have a photo. It’ll be just a memory. We can all think of those times that we say, “I wish I had my camera,” and since we don’t it becomes just a memory. Sometimes, a memory is even better, something a little more magical about a memory. With so many advancements in technology and now digital photography photos are snapped so often there seems to be less appreciation for that final image. I once told myself I would never go digital. There’s a lot to appreciate about film. However, a trip like this makes digital photography perfect.
Professional photographers are known for taking hundreds of photos for an assignment. For National Geographic some assignments warrant thousands of photos. Earlier this summer I was reading about a photographer on a National Geographic assignment. To show more appreciation and respect to get that perfect photo he decided to take only one photo per day, waiting for that peek moment when the sun is just right. There’s a big difference between snapping 100 photos in 30 minutes and taking an hour to compose one single image.
In May a Tibetan Monk came to Kresge Art Museum (where I was working at the time) to make a Sand Mandela. He took days to painstakingly blow the sand. And then… destroy it. Part of the ceremony is to symbolize impermanence. What’s ironic, as he was destructing the mandela tons of people took our their cameras to record this moment of something that stands for impermanence. Quite the irony. Now I’m going to photograph this whole country in the next year.
At this point, one thing I’ve learned is that I’ve become a better photographer by appreciating that I can preserve this moment in time and taking that extra step to a better composition. -xo