Tuesday, January 22, 2008

In Focus

I know them and so do you: the picture people. Folks who not only own a camera, but are owned by it, snapping away at parties, at sunrise, at the end of the world. They photograph their friends, their enemies, their elbows, their necks. To a picture person, every moment is a fugitive, something to be hunted and shot.

I don't own a camera. This is because I am not a picture person. I have tried, at various points in my life, to be a picture person, but I can't shake the feeling that taking pictures is cheap, like charging life to your credit card instead of paying outright. The proper payment is words. Because experience should cost you something more in the way of processing than deciding when to click.

The truth is people who take pictures have stopped living and started taking pictures.

The truth is a picture can shut you up.


Ellie said...
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Ellie said...

Sometimes, though, Anne, it is not so much being shut up as being left speechless.

I'd say that pictures of babies can do that, as well as pictures of oneself (or one's parents) unimaginably young.

I agree that cameras sometimes seem to get in the way of truly experiencing a moment, but when they're used well they can serve to interpret the experience and lend perspective, which is part of what words do.

Samantha said...

Hmm. :)