Thursday, June 18, 2009

Say Cheeeeeese!!!!

I've often been told that a picture speaks louder than a 1000 words. With due respects to all the brilliant photographers around, my friend, I beg to differ. A good picture definitely is a piece of art and is impossible without an acumen.

But the point is - what did the picture manage to capture?? A three dimensional experience in a two dimensional stratum - And, sir - that to me, is gross deterioration in the quality of the experience no matter how many pixels were used to capture the scene.

While I appreciate photography and understand its importance in illustrating and recording events, I disapprove using it extensively as a personal record.

Well, memory has some moments etched in it forever - say like your first bicycle, farewell to your best buddy, your graduation day at college, your first crush, loss of a dear one etc. While you may not remember the exact shade of the dress you wore or your hairstyle or any other irrelevant paraphernalia, memory definitely has the capacity of preserving that moment - in all its fullness, it all its glory, in all its life. And clicking a photograph of the moment wouldn’t do justice to it at all. I am rather amused at people's frantic attempts to squeeze real lively moments into dead pixels - they sure do have a fulfilled look when they have done it though! Thats even funny.

Photographs are useful if you want to show a friend the kind of place you went to for holiday etc, but again, it cant get any more personal than that. People recording their child's first smile, capturing a video of their first steps etc. - Very sorry, I refuse to appreciate it. Wasn't that a wonderful moment that you had rather enjoyed thoroughly, instead of fiddling with your camera clicking it and preserving it?

Firstly, you failed to enjoy the moment thoroughly - second, you tried to kill the moment and successfully put it to the grave.

Fine, you may see that over and over and over again and show it to your friends over and over and over again.... But, thats nowhere near to have allowed your mind to have taken it in completely, experience it relaxed. No advanced technology is required.. We were sent in with a built in feature, you see!! Thats like a High Definition auto filtering high memory system that stores just what is relevant, just what you enjoyed and cuts out the crap.

Having said that, I love beautiful pictures... Scenaries can take your breath away when the right eyes have frozen the moment. Photography is undoubtedly an art - one that demands a real artist. Some pictures are powerful in what they depict and it is very necessary..

I would like to drive home the point that photography is a very useful and powerful tool, but it is easily abused and thats the point where it gets a little silly.. Say for eg., you went on a holiday to India and instead of having a good look at the Taj Mahal, you get jazzed up about clicking a snap of yourself in front of the monument, to may be post it on some networking site or sharing... That to me is pathetic. You may well take a photo of the Taj, just like how you would take a memento from there, nothing more, please!

The other flipside of freezing personal moments is that it curbs imagination. Imagination adds this magical possibility and shade to the moment. It adds perspective and a tinge of individuality. No two people can imagine something exactly the same way. Why nip that lovely feeling?

So, the next time you talk to your five year old about the moment you won say an athletic event, you have two choices – Let your child imagine how you looked, how you must have felt and see his eyes light up with wonder, encouraging his imaginative faculty or hand out a picture taken on the day, extinguishing his imagination, tricking him into believing that the piece of paper says it all, watching as his eyebrows knit to have a careful look at the picture, picking up the irrelevant details and missing the fun and the spirit!

The choice after all, is yours!