Monday 30 March 2015

Take Pictures

To me, taking pictures is a way to freeze memories in time. I look at photos and can be instantly transported in time and space to when and where that picture was taken. It is magic in a way, the magic of inducing memories.

I have been going through the boxes of photos that I inherited from my mom and dad. The idea is to digitize those pictures and maybe restore them to a state before they were faded and there is no one left who remembers what they were about. Unfortunately, mom didn't write names or explanations on the backs of most of the photos, probably thinking that she would never forget those people. She probably didn't, but I may never have known them and certainly not as an adult. Consequently, unless the photo itself has some intrinsically interesting aspect I may as well just toss it.

Some of those pictures are a snapshot into my earlier family life and those memories come cascading back. Sometimes I look at the pictures and have no idea what they are about other than there is a super cute little Kenny Harrison in them. Those pictures will all be scanned and hopefully get tags written that indicate what they are about. I have a job when I return from vacation.

The reason I am talking about photos is that on vacation I like to take pictures. Most of my pictures are of flowers, landscapes, interesting patterns on the beach, sunsets, shells, stones and waves of course. I take some pictures of people but for the most part people can ruin a really fine photo. I save the pictures in a folder marked Hawaii 2015. Hopefully when I return home I will go through and mark the pictures but I just might leave them for the kids to toss when I die.

Many years ago I had a friend that went to Las Vegas and when he came back I asked to see the pictures he took because I had never been there and was interested to see what it looked like. The next day he brought in six photos of various sights and pictures of the hotel he stayed at. I looked at each one with rapt attention and told him I'd be interested in seeing all of them if he didn't mind. He told me that those pictures were all that he took. Hmmmm....

Years later when I went to Las Vegas, I filled a memory card with photos and lamented that I didn't have enough time to take even more. Each time I have gone back, I have taken hundreds of pictures. I grant you that if I were using a film camera as my buddy was, there would be far fewer pictures and probably some of the few would be under exposed, over exposed or just plain bad. Come to think of it, knowing my friend there was a better than average chance that he messed up all but six pictures.

There are picture takers in this world and there are those that rely on memories. The picture takers come in all shapes and sizes and all have different levels of commitment. One friend would never go anywhere without at least a point and shoot camera and another friend doesn't even know how the camera on her phone works. I find myself somewhere in between the two. To those who are relying on their memory, I have some bad news for you. Memory fades and unfortunately there is no equivalent to Photoshop that can bring back the colours and repair cracks and tears that time causes to your memory.

Take pictures and write on the back!

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