I had to dig through my archives to find this photo. It’s a snippet from a time passed.
Henri Cartier Bresson sums it up like this…
“To me, photography is the simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event.
Photographers deal in things which are continually vanishing and when they have vanished there is no contrivance on earth which can make them come back again.
The photograph itself doesn’t interest me. I want only to capture a minute part of reality.”
Photographers aren’t the only people who deal in things which are continually vanishing… life is vanishing … we all deal with vanishing moments of reality.
Recently a friend of mine lost her husband. There is no contrivance on earth which can make him come back again. How many of us have uttered the words “if I could turn back time”.
Photographs can’t bring people back, but they can offer an escape from this moment to a time passed. You can pick up a photograph, transcend time and be back in that moment. It’s not perfect but imagine a world without photographs, without these little passports.
Nearly every photographer has spoken of Cartier-Bresson’s “decisive moment” it’s been worn thin from use. I think every photograph that matters to someone, is a decisive moment. It might not be a great photo and it might take a few years before we can appreciate that moment, but let’s face it, it’s a moment, one that has vanished and nothing we do can bring it back.
I can’t tell you how many “less than perfect” photos I’ve seen on funeral service cards and I doubt if anyone at the moment of grief is judging that photo, analysing its composition, colour, light? I believe, more than likely, they’re lost in that photo, lost in that moment, and with their loved ones.
That’s why I love photography so much. It’s a gift, it offers an escape, if only momentarily, to a time passed.
Dedicated to my friend Sandra.