What would you take?

17 March 2013

The featured picture is of 3 generations of our family, taken on my camera 2 years ago during a visit to the UK, but obviously not taken by me. It was at the end of a family get together during a 2 week visit to my parents in the UK. We had a pub meal and caught up with many of my various cousins. it was a pleasant day, mentally tiring, but although it was family get together I didn’t attach any more significance to it. The picture itself is nothing special form an artistic point of view and wouldn’t win many competitions!

Unfortunately my father’s health has deteriorated since then and he has recently been admitted to a medical facility.This is one of few possessions he took with him. Or put another way this photograph is one of his most treasured possessions.

As I thought about this  I wondered what I would take in a similar circumstance and I would do the same. I would want images of loved ones and  of special memories around me, for a start. I think the majority of people would behave in the same way.

And so as I reflect, I am reminded that this illustrates the importance and power of photography. There are many genres and aspects of photography and these comments are valid for all of these, but fundamental is it’s ability to preserve moments in time and record memories for us. Today, everyone can produce something technically competent but the skilled photographer has the ability to anticipate, see, compose and capture that moment, to interpret it. It all sounds so simple yet is hard to do very well.

It takes passion, persistence and time, we appear removed from a situation, instead just mere observers, yet we are more involved and attuned to subtleties of light, timing and emotion. Moreover, in many cases the moments would not have happened had we not been present

In short we photographers do make a difference and we create images and memories that people value…..alot!