November 17th, 207 … The Memory of Being

Leica M240 35mm Zeiss

………what about being in the moment? Is it really a moment? Is it just ONE moment and then it’s over? Maybe it’s a series of moments and then it’s not a moment at all. Perhaps as photographers, we really should not live in the moment but just have the memory of it. Maybe what’s really important is not the moment at all but the memory of it. Surely the memory will outlive the event of the moment. No matter if it’s The Decisive Moment or just a regular non specific moment.

The important thing is not the moment but being in the moment. Maybe that’s not right either and I personally believe that the memory of being is all that matters in any situation. The memory of being is all that remains after a breath passes.

Photographers are possessed with being in the moment and capturing an image that reflects the memory of the experience of that moment. I am not convinced that I succeed in that mission. I fail because I make photos that are more of a personal outlook to me then the actual living breathing moment.

Years ago I embarked on a body of work about American Artist. I used an 8×10 Deardorff named Margaret after my exes mother’s name. I made countless photos of many famous people. It was a humbling experience to say the least. As I moved along the journey, I started to realize that death was my partner on this project. Most of the artist were much older than me.  As I released the shutter, I felt that being there was a special emotional moment that I wanted to cherish forever. That set the framework for all the photos. I wanted a descriptive living document of all the ones I photographed.

I wanted the families and friends and collectors of these people to have THE image of that particular artist. I’m not saying I ever succeeded in anything but creating a false representation of a reality, that suggest to me or the viewer that I was there and this is what I saw.

So the memory of being introduces an element at the moment of release that I can’t get past. That element is, being aware of being in the moment, or being aware of making the memory of the moment. Perhaps the 2 live side by side and only some people even care about it.

I write these things as observations that have captured me along the way. You may or may not find worth in it but I will continue just as I will continue making photos.

Be blessed all………end transmission…………..

5 thoughts on “November 17th, 207 … The Memory of Being”

  1. Hi Don,

    ‘Being in the moment’ – it creates a bit of a conundrum, this term.

    If time inexorably marches forward, then, just maybe, we have to best understood this term ‘Being in the Moment’, whilst photographing, as a backwards subjective period of reflection – or being aware of a memory, as you refer to it – in contrast to an objective moment, or state, that’s experienced forwards.

    It’s hard to winkle out exactly what are the objective facts that construct a forward state of ‘Being in the Moment’. Equally, it’s probably easier, for the photographer, to relate to, or remember upon reflection, the subjective circumstances of the awareness of a memory, to help understand those bits essential to the emotions and feelings, for the making of a memory of a previous period of photographing.

    Each emotion and feeling, resulting from these reflective periods, are bound to be different from time to time, due to our subjectivity. They surely undergo change as we retrace backwards, remember, reflect, and or review our awareness. In doing so, the outcome is, our relationship, of the awareness, may change. That is, there’s the potential for new emotions and feelings to be laid down, to either support or re-model, as we become wiser from our periods of reflection and awareness.

    However, a confounder is that the image photographed is what was seen at the time, and it may never ever be able to be completely understood, in terms of the time it was crafted, but our awareness of the ‘memory of the moment’ prevails, one would hope.

    Memories are notoriously … ummm … I can’t remember exactly, correct me if I am wrong, but I recollect that this iamge …


    1. Sean, thanks again. I ask for a little time to reply as I am ill at the moment. So, when I feel semi-human again, I’ll do it.

      1. Hi Don,
        Hoping this finds your health is on the mend and progressing to being more than being just ‘semi-human’.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.