Everyone has their own reasons for choosing to spend time dabbling in their hobbies of choice. my reasons for my love-obsession of photography is that each time I review my captured moments I see things, and I see things differently, clearly and often I see things I didn’t even know we’re there.
This is why I’m grateful to my parents; for not discouraging me from my own way of seeing.
My compulsion to capture an interesting moment, one that makes me stop and wonder about the unseen imagery that our brains often pass over in their pre-programmed quest for quick categorization. This is a great survival tactic. But most of us aren’t in survival mode in this time and place.
Breaking down the imagery from what our eyes “see”, into generalities for quick processing is helpful for a deeper awareness of an experience, but at this stage we are still not deeply cognizant of the message in each fleeting sensory moment. We see, hear, feel, taste or intuit uncountable types and sources of input each day. By capturing a moment on film or digitally, we can take our time to better see or re-experince what we missed in that moment that we captured it. We can then dissect it, at a time of our choosing, for a better understanding and have a new experience of the captured vision. Isn’t this one of the main reasons we are all so fascinated with Time Life magazine’s horrific images of war and National Geographic’s images of naked tribes people surviving unchanged for centuries in remote jungles? These captured moments in time become provocative time capsules, each speaking a thousand words arranged into a thousand unique messages to each of millions of viewers. We all have our own perspectives, our points of views about what each image means. We can imagine ourselves living in a rain forest, eating frogs, hunting with hand made spears and wearing only a loin cloth, if anything. This is one way each of us programs our own brains thought by thought, sensation by sensation, from the moment we were conceived until the moment we leave. Experiencing, thinking, comprehending, empathizing:This is how we make sense of our worlds.
So why am I so grateful to my parents? My teachers, my school counselors, my self, we all told me I couldn’t be a photographer, but my parents never told me that I couldn’t do it. (Thank you Mom and Dad!). In fact, my mom bought me my first “real”camera, when I was in high school: A Cannon AE1. I lugged this beast and my 55-300mm zoom lens everywhere I went, for years, and all over Ecuador, Peru and Mexico, where I sold it to a couple shooting stained glass windows for a book they were writing. They needed a better camera and zoom lens. And this is my favorite part of this story, they were also from Portland, Oregon. I don’t believe in coincidences. So, as all non-coincidences in life, it appears that years before these creative devotees even conceived of their synergistic mission, my mom bought them a camera and gave it to me to deliver to them at the exact moment they would need it. True or false? Coincidence, divine intervention, laws of the universe, or…? I don’t know, but I don’t believe in coincidences. I like to believe there is something more interesting here in the universe. It’s simply too enormous to be void of anything but detritus.
So why would I have been discouraged from photography? Poor “vision”. I generally can’t tell red from orange from pink nor blue from green from grey. I use the 250% zoom on my computer monitor with reading glasses so I can read the print and see the images more clearly. With the miracles of technology we can all stretch our boundaries and in one way…or another, do what we dream.
* My current dream: That the driver-less car is safe and affordable before I’m too old to enjoy the freedom of using one!
I vote for boarders without boundaries!