When one begins to associate oneself with photography in some way, one’s mode of looking at life inevitably changes, dividing the flow of everything around into a series of stills. Some of these stills one is lucky enough to capture – those go into the portfolio. Others remain unphotographed (do check out that project). The only place they go is into the amazing album of memory, tagged maybe with a shade of disappointment, a feeling of could-have-been.
Perhaps it is no coincidence that the usual verb for producing a picture is take. A picture is meant to be carried away to store somewhere, to return to years from now – to reminisce over. Some believe that to be photographed is to lose part of your soul – that part is taken away by the photographer. People often link even the most ephemeral or spiritual matters with material things, like photos. So when one misses out on taking a picture, it is natural to be disappointed.
The photos I could have taken today were, among others: – A young woman, hurrying down a downtown street with a large empty glass frame in her hands. Who knows what will go under that glass. – A man, sitting alone inside a bus belonging to the military orchestra. What a feeling of contrast when you think of the main feature of such bands, their populousness. – A shabby board: ‘Restaurant for those who love their stomachs’. No restaurant in sight.
Maybe some things are best left, not taken. A material anchor has its benefits, but a memory can become even more interesting as it fades, changing one’s past as it transforms with time.