As I was hurriedly snapping photos (mostly because it was freezing) I realized that in my haste to get a good photo for the purpose of remembering the temple in the future, I wasn’t even really seeing the temple. I think since being in London earlier this year I’ve had this realization at least a dozen times- that sometimes the beauty and grandeur of a building, a flower, or a smile is lost in the rush to capture it on film. Luckily, I have had this realization and am getting better at taking a moment to see what I am looking at.
In reality I often get frustrated with the inability of my camera to capture exactly what I do see in real life. For example, the Washington D.C. temple looked a million times better in person than it did in any of my photos. And the grandeur of the Lincoln Memorial is so impossible to capture that I didn’t even share my paltry photos with anyone.
Still, I love photography for what it does capture. In fact, sometimes a photo can make a thing seem more beautiful or powerful than it may have been in real life. I love keeping up with news from all over the world and have found that in many instances a news story doesn’t resonate with me while the corresponding photo really affects me.
For example, I have felt a genuine concern for the people in Haiti who have suffered in the wake of an earthquake, cholera outbreak and now a hurricane, but the photo below affected me more than any news report, so much so that since first seeing it I have pictured it in my mind and thought about this little boy countless times wishing I could do more to help.
(Photo courtesy of The Big Picture)
The same goes for photos I’ve seen of the recent quake, tsunami and volcano eruption in Indonesia, the riots in France, and the rescue of the Chilean minors. In these instances the emotions frozen on film proves the old phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words.”
However, there is still something to be said about just being there in the moment and actually seeing what you’re looking at without the barrier of a camera lens.