Annie and her mom, Wells, Maine.
There’s a reason we carry cameras. Memory. Plain and simple. For professional photographers, there’s other layers to it, of course. We make a living through a lens. For hobbyists, it can be the additional wrinkle of the sheer joy of the making of a picture, or the prompt the camera can be to climb a rock, or walk in the woods. For moms and dads, there’s this weekend’s soccer match, or the upcoming graduation. For the urban hipster, it could be an Instagram of tonight’s dinner at that new Italian place in Red Hook.
But no matter the density of involvement, it really comes down to the picture made being all that’s left of that much-planned-for great event. I mean, the bride and groom have just walked out of the reception hall to cheers and kisses and the wait staff is already clearing the tables and setting up for the next wedding, and they pretty much don’t even remember the name of that cute couple that was here just a couple hours ago, getting hitched. In the blink of an eye, your weekend/wedding/game/concert is over. What’s left? Memory, embedded now not in faded Polaroids stuck in scrapbooks with sticky corners, but in ones and zeroes and pixels, sitting there on a hard drive, whirring and blinking (hopefully) through the night. Remember that thing that we did at the shore by the place we used to go? We do, when we look at the photos.
Had some family time this weekend, and the stars of the show were of course, our great nieces, pretty in pink and already a pair of distinct characters. They’ll outgrow those pink sweatshirts real quick, but in this picture, they’ll always be a toddler with her baby sister. Pretty faces in pretty light.
And, in the case of the older one, an already serious appreciation of the power of the camera and her role in front of it.
And in the case of sharing a friend’s birthday party, a picture of her daughter became for me a picture about being a kid, on a swing, in the summer.
We live in an amazing time for these picture making machines of ours, by the way. I shot this after the sun had gone down, and there was nothing but that lovely, milky afterglow of early dusk. ISO 5000, at 1/60th @f4, on a D500 DX camera. I knew most of my frames would be out of focus, and they were, but there were just a couple, at the top of the arc of her swing, where the camera grabbed. As we used to say at the Daily News, there’s sharp, and there’s sharp enough. But you know, ISO 5000? Huh?
A great weekend to have a camera on my shoulder.
Annie greets the sunrise on the coast of Maine….hope everybody had a great Fourth, and took some pictures!