I got lost in my library search. As I clicked links and side bars, I kept finding myself looking at photographs. I scoured through the Time Magazine covers, the New York Magazine, the National Geographic. I pulled up images from pivotal moments in human history and was absorbed by the colors on the screen, the power of the images, at how they spoke for themselves with no writing or explanation. After some time, I took a step back, and realized I wasn’t hooked by what exactly I was looking at, but how I was looking at them.
There are millions of photographs and each one captures such a unique and brief moment of time. Photographs preserve moments, allowing them the chance to be seen and talked about later on, when the moment has passed, when the people are gone, or when the event is over. I am fascinated by pictures, by how much they say, without saying anything at all.
From another angle, I am even more fascinated by the pictures that aren’t taken. The moments in time that happen, but are never documented–where the only hope of preservation is through memory. In a way, the moments not captured are far more delicate, far more susceptible to being forgotten. There is something so deliberate about photographs. They are meant to be seen again, to send some kind of message. I wonder what goes on in people’s lives that they don’t capture on purpose, that they want concealed from the world. There is something (probably a lot) to be said about the pictures not taken.
As tangential as this is, this library search got me thinking about Instagram. This picture-sharing media platform caters to the idea of showing the word the image you wish to share. Instagram lets you edit, filter, sharpen and crop photos so that by the time you share it with your followers, the photograph sends a tailored message, something far from the truth. What comes of this? Of branding yourself in such a “picture perfect” way? There is so much beauty in raw moments, the unedited moments of daily life. That is the beauty, and those are the photographs, worth talking about.