My battery dies on me. As I often have a backup, I reach for it – only to realize I don’t have it on me. My second instinct is to reach for my phone, which has a pretty decent camera and is much easier to lug around! My phone is dead as well.
I start to get antsy. So many images/moments/monuments that I want to immortalize on film (is it technically film any more?), and I can’t. Or perhaps I can.
Perhaps I can just relax and be present. Enjoy and breathe in all the sights — immortalize them in my memory.
As you can tell, I have mixed feelings about photography. On the one hand, I love it. I picture a frame in my head long before I reach for the camera. I can envision the photo before the click. I want to freeze laughter, natural moments and small but precious beauties, and feel that photography allows me to do so. I love looking back at old photos of people and eras who are no longer. Sometimes photos (accompanied by stories) are the only way for us to relive or experience or get to know those people and the moments and lives they’ve lived.
On the other hand, I sometimes feel I’m so focused on capturing the moment that I miss it. I miss fully and profoundly experiencing it, without something between me and the object or event to be experienced.
As technology advances, and especially with the advent of various online mediums (including Snapchat which I refuse to catch on to) and selfies (which I pray people will have enough of and get over), many of us have stopped living without our gadgets. Or perhaps more accurately, with our gadgets, we’ve stopped living. We’re obsessed with documenting our lives — frame by frame — so much so that I wonder if we’re living them any longer.
Having said all this, I write this as I sit on the 41st floor of Edificio Italia, which I have no doubt has one of the most (if not THE most) incredible panoramic view of São Paulo. I’ve witnessed the day wind down, the sun dip, the city lights slowly turn on as the sky darkens….the imagery itself is sufficient poetry.
Ofcourse I’m dying to capture all this beauty, and wish I could, and have even attempted all manner of tricks to revive my battery. I also understand, however, the message the universe is trying to get through to me.
Some moments and views are meant to be lived, not captured.