Life-Love 60: Taking a good photo

Taking photographs is a real joy. It’s a way to freeze a time and space, capturing a moment in a very personal way and preserving what your eye has seen. Our memories are so fleeting, and we spend an amazing portion of our lives trying to reconstruct them – we re-tell ourselves the stories of our lives, sometimes in the voice that animates our inner thoughts, sometimes in words and pictures that we share with others. When you take a photograph, you create one representation of a way in which you viewed the world at a precise moment in time. As memory fades with the months and years, you may forget the circumstances of the photo, but you have the memento that you took. A memento that becomes a piece of the fading, evermore hazy jigsaw puzzle of your past experiences. The light of sun as you crested a hill, the sight of naked wintery trees starkly spreading across a sunset sky, the face of someone you care about in a moment of glee or of tragedy. These images are the shards of light that illuminate parts of our selves. That’s why when you take a good photo, you know you’ve done something special – it feels right. Intuition tells you that you’ve accurately mapped a length of the coastline of the moment you are living – whether at a child’s birthday party, or alone in a field of swaying grasses. You’ve matched your perception to your camera’s abilities, and that is both satisfying and beautiful.

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