Mementos

“The objects for which there is no satisfactory resolution… In theory, these mementos serve to bring back the moment. In fact they serve only to make clear how inadequately I appreciated the moment when it was here.”
Joan Didion, Blue Nights

This was shared on Facebook by Andrea Baker and it struck home quite sharply. I have always felt a disconnect between photographing something and participating in it. When I set out with a camera as a photographer it is necessary to shift into the role of outsider. Some distance is necessary to be able to extract an instant record from the moment. Photography is a strictly visual medium. The visual is emphasized to the exclusion or detriment of the other senses. This sensory isolation is also isolating the photographer from full participation in what is being photographed.

Am I off on a tangent of what Joan Didion was talking about? A Google search of other quotes from this book also seem very much on target regarding the nature of photography. I guess it’s time to see if I can get a copy of Blue Nights and explore further.

 

 

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