Wednesday, October 11, 2006

At 1/250 of a second

Here here, come on! Don’t be like that please. Try to close your eyes and relax, there’s nothing wrong! Sure I can tell you all about it, although it’s not of such great importance, but will you believe me? Will you? Okay then. Do you remember me telling you about what I felt concerning my passion for photography? Do you really? Well, now I come to think about that, about all the pictures I took, I realise time is really passing and how impotent we really are about it. It’s not something I didn’t knew, but through my photographs I can touch time as it runs by me, and it hurts my hands and makes my fingers bleed! And you know how I need my fingers!

Through my pictures I try and try to capture time, to make it still, to preserve as many fractions of it as I can, just to store it in little boxes with numbers to consume in a nearby future, but it’s always kind of a lost battle. Every picture is a lie, as you know. Nothing of what you see in them exists anymore. That precise moment is gone forever. Do you follow what I’m saying? Just look at this picture here: do you see this man? He’s dead, and still here you have it forever. Excuse me just for a second…

So I went on thinking a little more about that and I realised that each good photo I took holds approximately 1/250 of a second of my own history, some even less, when it’s too bright and the shutter speeds are extremely fast. And what did I thought of next? I came to think that this way maybe in twenty or thirty years time I will be able to actually show images of about one or two seconds of my life – of things I saw, of places I’ve been, of emotions I felt and people I loved. In photographic terms that’s quite an accomplishment, around one or two thousand really good photographs! But lets face it, two thousand good pictures? I don’t think that's realistic at all! But even if it was what would that say about the life I chose and what I chose to do with it? Can you help me here?

That’s the reason of it! Let’s face it; it’s just life. And while we’re at it let me tell you about this dream I had last night: I was walking down a wide avenue at night, with cats all over garbage cans with bright eyes staring at me each moment, and oranges glowing in trees as if they all had inner lights! Those trees were all covered with little orange light bulbs and it felt like Christmas in that wide empty avenue. It was very warm and yet it snowed, and there were no cars, no people, nothing moving except me and those cats in the garbage. I was in a blue pyjama, bare footed, feeling an absence of you from my tiny fragile world.

Can you gather now in a single frame all that I’ve told you? Does it make any sense now? That’s why I’ve come with this diary of my days, this map of my life, that I now hand you! It’s not for you never to get lost, but for me not to be lost forever.

(Photography: composition of images, accepted for the Yahoo Time Capsule / Text: Coimbra – Portugal, October 10th 2006)

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