“The Moment! Once you miss it, it’s gone forever.”
Henri Cartier Bresson
This week Krista has offered us an interesting challenge: “Gone But Not Forgotten”. A few weeks ago I posted about a glorious sunrise at Botany Bay in the nearby Ace Basin of South Carolina. At the time I promised to later post some B&W versions of the hauntingly beautiful trees that have been decimated by the tides as they encroach upon the beach. It seems to me that those trees are a wonderful subject for this week’s challenge as they cling to their last moments of existence.
“Photography is very philosophical. You look one moment and there’s everything, next moment it’s gone.”
As I mentioned in my previous post, the sunrise at Botany Bay was incredibly vibrant the day I visited, but once the sun began to rise higher into the sky, the day became quite difficult for color photography. On the other hand, very high-contrast situations such as a bright sun over the ocean with dark trees as subjects, lend themselves wonderfully to B&W.
“No man-made invention will ever be as clear, or as vivid, as the image captured in your mind of a loved one who’s gone.”
I’ve often commented to friends that the subjects of my photographs are the most memorable moments of my travels. Is that because they were more memorable to begin with, or because I’ve translated them from my eyes, through my lens and onto a solid medium such as a framed print or a book? I suspect a little of both. But I do find that photography not only causes me to notice more of the wonders of our world, both large and small, but it also helps me to remember them.
“There is always the feeling that something is gone.”
The ephemeral nature of this particular site, Boneyard Beach, is emotionally moving. One is faced with the transitory element of life – here today, gone tomorrow. But forgotten? Let us hope not. If only memorialized by photographers like myself who find them stunningly beautiful, at the very least they will be remembered by some number of us. So too all of us, who will someday cease to exist other than in photos or more importantly in the minds and hearts of those who have known and loved us.
“What I like about photographs is that they capture a moment that’s gone forever, impossible to reproduce.”
No one wants to think about ceasing to exist, after all, it’s the only thing we know. But much has been written of late about what happens after death. Science and medicine have reached a point where many who have been technically dead for some time – no heartbeat, no brainwaves, no breathing – can be returned to life. Many of them have reported experiencing a wonderful “existence” after physical death, such that they were reluctant to return to life in the here-and-now. Who are we to question, since we have no way of knowing what really happens? People of faith have always believed in a hereafter of some form, and many people around the world firmly believe in reincarnation. Who are we to think we know otherwise?
“My favorite thing is to go where I have never gone.”
“Gone but not Forgotten” not only describes the barren trees of Boneyard Beach. It also applies to the loved ones we have lost, and of course to the incredible moments I spent in this very special place. For that reason, this week I have surrounded my photography with the quotations of famous photographers. Who better to talk about Gone but not Forgotten than those who have captured fleeting moments and frozen them for all time? Because of their amazing collective works they will not soon be forgotten either.
To see what other bloggers have not forgotten, click here.