Many guys i know experience important events in life through a camera lens. at some point in my life, i decided that i wouldn't do that.
i like photographs as much as the next guy. i like them for the documentation they do and i like them even more for the aesthetic good they bring. above all, i like how photos remind you of good days, ordinary days, an hour, a feeling, a person. but as much as i appreciate these things, i won't trade that for the real thing.
whether it's someone blowing the candles off a cake, or a singer taking to the mic on stage, or a couple wearing rings at the altar, i think i've reached a stage in my life where i'd much rather have my real eyes on the event. i'd take that over having a beautiful photograph to help me remember something that i had a compromised real experience of.
to me, it misses the point. i'm there. if i'm right there when it's happening, i'd much rather have a real and really good experience of the thing, live - not mediated. eyes opened. ears trained. taking it in. maybe we live in an age that is somewhat insecure. we feel like we have to preserve all our memories. that if we don't do that, that maybe we'll forget that anything ever happened. maybe we're so afraid of this that even before we experience something, we hijack it by putting a camera in front of our eyes. we never experience anything first hand anymore. we have no memories of a live experience. but we have photographs to help us build these memories.
i was looking through my melbourne photos and many of them were taken hastily. some of them are composed dodgily. others are a bit off-focused. but i'm happy with them. i really am. i'm happy because i didn't go to melbourne to take photos. i went to melbourne to see melbourne. and saw it i did. i can't show people what i saw. i can show them my photos, but those photos were never really going to replicate the experience anyway. so my photos, warts and all, do enough to remind me of the real experiences that i had. nothing more. put differently, i don't need perfect photos of my holiday. i just need thumbnails, so to speak, that remind me of the real moments. the rest, i have real memories for.
do i sound like an experiential fascist?
experiential fascist. yeah, maybe that's me.