The Memory Carries Me

The clouds parted just now, giving way to the jagged mountain peaks beyond. For a few fleeting seconds it seems as though I had the greatest view this earth of ours could offer. Its gone now, the clouds having covered it once again. Only the memory remains.
– 9/29/2012, exert from my photography journal

Camera: Holga 120WPCFilm: Kodak Ektar 100Location: Artist Point - Mount Baker, Washington State

Camera: Holga 120WPC
Film: Kodak Ektar 100
Location: Artist Point – Mount Baker, Washington State

As photographers, we are driven to record the world around us. We feed off this need, knowing that perhaps the next exposure will be our best yet. Still there are times when its better to set the camera aside and experience life as it happens. This is not a skill learned in the classroom, or through a google search, but developed through your own photographic experiences. The saying goes ‘what you choose not to photograph, is just as important as what you do’. Which is true, except often times we misconstrue the meaning to be only photograph that which is interesting. Problem is, if we are busying ourselves with constantly trying to capture such things, we run the risk of never truly experiencing them at all.

The clouds did part ways on the cold cloudy September morning I found myself wandering around Artist Point on Mount Baker. I happened to be leaning against a large boulder marveling at how quite it was was shrouded in amongst the clouds, when it happened. I quickly reached for my camera, already perched its tripod, but stopped myself deciding instead to simply enjoy it. Moments later the view was gone, visibility again reduced to at times only about 150 feet in front of me. I took several exposures among the clouds that day, but brought back only the memory of what lay beyond them.



About jsodphotography

Seattle based film photographer. Recording light through a pinhole, Holga, and various 35mm cameras.
This entry was posted in Film Photography, Holga, Photogarphy, Pinhole and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to The Memory Carries Me

  1. Great foggy, rainy shot. Lovely vignetting.

  2. Love what you write here. It seems so much of what we try to capture on film is the desire to hold the image forever in a form we can always see, rather than it becoming mere memory. Sometimes I think I see more with a camera in hand, because I’m looking for the extraordinary in the ordinary. I’m on a treasure hunt. But other times I feel I’m too preoccupied with the busyness of capturing things rather than the stillnes that comes with the pure experiencing of them, as you mention here. Trying to balance the two is the thing, I guess.

    • Thanks for the thoughtful comment. I do agree that having a camera in hand teaches us to see things differently, and explore our surroundings. The key is, as you said above, to find a balance between capturing the picture and simply enjoying the moment.

  3. janaobscura says:

    Great thoughts Jeff – and I have to agree that sometimes we get so caught up in trying to capture an image that we don’t sit back and enjoy it. I believe that photographers in general are so capable of seeing that it’s a matter of just stepping back and allowing ourselves a moment of reflection. Appreciate the moment, then pick up the camera again.

  4. Marie says:

    Your memory and your beautiful photograph remains. It’s a great thing with pinhole photography, that you have time to enjoy the moment during a long exposure…
    Beautiful capture!

    • Pinhole photography does have a way of forcing you to slow down considerably. Its not uncommon for me to stand around the same area of a forest for 30 minutes while I wait for an exposure to finish. Plenty of time to get lost in thought.

  5. I know what you mean. Sometimes I feel like I’m missing the moment because I’m taking photos, which I will view later in order to enjoy the moment that I’m missing! But it’s so hard to put down the camera when a great shot is right there.

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