...or tries to...

Monday, March 19, 2012

Macro

I left my camera in a dressing room yesterday.  It was the first time since I took it out of its box that it hasn't been near me, and its sudden absence reminds me not only of the loss itself but it problems it creates - that distancing from direct experience. In a way there's less urgency to be where I am as fully as I can because the camera will, I imagine, save it for me. I can trap time, grab at it. But of course it doesn't hold time. It replaces experience, it changes it very much like memory does. It helps choreograph what we remember. How many times have you had trouble figuring whether you remember a long past event, a place, or whether you remember the pictures taken of it instead? Not a novel concept at all, of course. But the lack of camera forces me to remember that. You can't keep it. You can't keep anything. That has to be ok, in some way.

But what the camera does wonderfully is take you out of direct experience. When I get the lens up close, it makes up a world in a rectangle, makes very small hidden and neglected things as real as the faces of friends. That's something very difficult for the eye to do. That's what I would miss most if I never had my camera back.

(The shop owner found it, I'm picking it up this afternoon).




















6 comments:

Daydreamer said...

Oh, Amy! I Panicked when I read that you left your camera somewhere! Lol!
I Never leave the house without mine... so I know what you mean!
And yet, I know what you mean PRECISELY about the Camera interfering or altering the experience of the moment... removing the immediacy and intensity of the experience. I have to tell you that when I was a young adult on my first trip to Europe I took tons of pictures... and when I got home I was SO Disappointed... they didn't capture anywhere NEAR what I remembered of my trip! So the next time I went to Europe.... for an exchange year in college... I refused to bring a camera and only brought my pen and ink and watercolors and a tiny book to paint in! I started with the aim of "sketching" my journey... but the paintings became quite elaborate in the Medieval Miniature Tradition with borders and all.... so they Took FOREVER to complete! I have 40 paintings from that year abroad.... and they captured SO MUCH MORE of what it meant to ME to be there.... but I have to confess the Medieval style borders are NOT all completed to this day!
Because I never drew on-site, but only later from memory.... they captured more of what I was "Seeing" than actual photos could. Even so, I have had people say "Oh I was there... I saw that exact thing.." when they look at some of them! So Some of what I captured was that Universal view....
Anyway... I have converted to the Camera as a method of recording... yes, capturing... what I see....
And I'm SO glad you didn't LOSE yours!

Daydreamer said...

Amy, I have to add.... Don't you just think it is unbelievable how leaves grow from buds... all curled and pleated in their miniscule perfection.... bursting forth... like butterflies coming out of a chrysalis....
These pictures are AWESOME!

Amy said...

Betsey, you leave the best comments, and you honor me. I know exactly what you mean, I actually got a little depressed on my first, (and only, so far), trip to France because neither my camera or my drawings were capturing the way I was feeling there. I thunked around Versailles kind of muttering and tearing up, in a perfect 21 year old's mix of frustration and impatience. I too ended up drawing much more than snapping the camera, and remember the places where I drew so vividly, not as the drawing captured them, but the way the air felt, the weather, the light, even the sounds, the noise. I had to concentrate, sit, be still, be quiet, be as much there as I could, just what you experienced. I think it's wonderful that your sketches and paintings extended into your life at home, and that they weren't replacements for the lens, but filtered through your imagination and the things you were needing to do, and thinking about, at the time. That's art.

And yes! Like chrysalis, that's it exactly! The way everything parallels and reflects and mirrors here on earth. It is amazing. Endlessly amazing.

Shalini said...

Gorgeous shots Amy, really gorgeous. Love all the details.

You're lucky to have found your camera, most times, once lost, it's gone forever. My camera got stuck with the lens open yesterday, so I have been thinking something along the same lines. I've just come to depend on my camera to capture the little moments, the ones that one usually forgets about, and in the past couple of years it's been a really good theraputic experience, since I've been so busy with E, that often the whole day or days or week went by without me doing anything for myself. But by taking pictures, I force myself to sit down and drink that cup of tea, which I otherwise might have forgone.

Amy said...

Thank you Shalini!
I lost an envelope of photos I took in South Korea, long ago - remember that lovely cardboard envelope of shiny photos, so full of promise, disappointments, suprises?) The Korean leg of the trip was part of one of those whirlwind two week tours, and it does seem to be, unlike the other countries, like something I was told about. Maybe it's actually true that the two experiences have become nearly inseparable for us. I do know that from seeing your pictures for years now, they are truly mindful of the every day, and there are aspects of that in your travel images too-the stopping, the stilling, the careful consideration in the midst of moving. And now, because of your beautiful E., holding her whirlwind of a life force still for a just a moment--

minwks said...

Many thank for your photos of the renewal of the garden and woods. I feel at last we have survived another winter. Everything smells wonderful.
Regards Janine