Wednesday, February 2, 2011


How would you describe what a camera does and what a photograph is to someone who had never heard of such a thing?

There are these little boxes that can capture and store memories of a moment and show them back to you.

They are like instant artists at your beck and call, drawing a sketch of what is in front of you *exactly* as it appears to your eyes.

You can save these images for ever on this little thing called a chip, or you can transfer them to your computer and share them with people on the other side of the world, or you can get them printed on paper and hold them in your hands.

Cameras are magical. Time runs towards us like a tsunami, and goes away as irrevocably as a jet plane rising from a runway. Time stops for no man, and our memories of faces and places are always fading gradually. The camera helps us remember that uncle who died of MS, that face before the scar happened, that one little side-road we took on our great road-trip.

They can, of course, remember for us in a superficial way, letting us focus on the wrinkles on our grandma's face more than the taste of her cookie jar. They can change our memories at times and in ways we might not want them to. But they are fabulous tools. They are genies in a case. They are magic.

1 comment:

  1. I love your fire picture, and I hadn't really thought about the way pictures change our memories.