Friday, July 15, 2005

If it ain't on film, it didn't happen.

When was it I first said, "If it ain't on film, it didn't happen?" So long ago it could have been a fairly fresh insight or a wryly ironic joke at the time, but I can't remember which. Of course, now it is neither. For long years it has been the guiding rule of TV news and now it is what personal digital cameras, GPS and mobile phone cameras are all about. It has gotten to the point that people seem more interested in recording an experience than having one.

Yet, this new Flickr era can be quite satisfying. I don't take a lot of pictures, and when I do, it is often an afterthought of the situation. This is not to capture the moment, per se, but more an interest in creating one out of the human and other materials available at that moment. Found art of a sort.

And art has to resonate. Peter posted such a piece of art on his Flickr page: a view of Mt. Shasta from the air. Now how this picture resonates for him when he looks at it, I can't know, but I'm sure it does. But for me it resonates on at least two levels. One is a sense of the majesty of the great peak shining above the blue haze that surrounds it, and the civilization below. It is a powerful view of our elements: earth, air, water and the dim fires of life sprinkled dimly beneath it all.

And it also resonates in my memory. Of travel in that region. Of the family with me. Of the quiet morning jogs. The breakfasts at the Weed Cafe and of dinners nearby. Of haze in the morning and deep darkness at night. And feeling cozy with it all.

Those memories are the only photos I have of Mt. Shasta and environs. I guess I was too much in the moment to even think about lugging my Canon Single Lens Reflex with me. But thanks to this new Flickr era, and all its accoutrements, I can gaze at Peter's Mt. Shasta, and find another level of pleasure in its reminders.


At July 17, 2005 10:46 PM, Blogger Peter said...

Well, the greatest resonance is the immediate - the awe of that massive pile of earth, covered with snow.

From memory, the resonance is of Weed, of the Hi-Lo, of trips to Dunsmuir, and staying at the Nutglade Station.


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