Quote Originally Posted by blansky View Post
This may be tied to the thread of the fantasy location where you would like to go and photograph anywhere in the world. It also ties into the many threads that we talk about all the great places we were and didn't have, or failed to take a picture. You didn't stop your car. Not so much that you didn't get any pictures but the angst you feel about it.

So here's the question: How many times has your best/favorite photograph been actually better than an experience you had. When your cameras were at home and you just absorbed the magic of the moment.

The point is that most of us have some years behind us, and I bet that I have far better memories than I have photographs. (and I have a LOT of photographs). My memory of sitting on the beach in Hawaii is better than my photographs of Hawaii. The memories of staring at my wife are better than my photographs of my wife. The memories of the joy in children's faces is far better than any photograph I have of children's faces.

So if my memories of these gorgeous places and my memories of wonderful experiences are so powerful, why would I care if I take my camera to Machu Picchu, or the moon or Angelina Joli's bedroom.

Why do I feel the need to record these places and events instead of actually enjoy the experience of being there. And why do we let the angst of taking the perfect photograph of these places sometimes over ride our pleasure of experience it in the first place?

I know some are going to say, "but the photograph helps me to remember the experience".

The problem is, the experience was not you experiencing the moment but rather you trying to capture it. Sort of like you missed the photo finish of the greatest horse race ever run because you were concentrating on taking a picture of the greatest horse race ever run. You have the picture but lost the memory of seeing, feeling and experiencing it.

In other words, you missed the magic because you were so busy trying to capture the magic.

Your comments?
Even the best photograph is merely an abstraction of the Real. Nonetheless, a photograph can remind us many years hence that we really did experience something although it (the photograph) will never be able to live up to that past, real event. There is a fabulous and sad Duane Michals image, "This Photograph is My Proof" that addresses your question. Being and Photographing don't have to be mutually exclusive. Enjoy the World first, but keep the camera handy.