Photography is a lot like poetry, only the imagery is the lyrical element. Oftentimes, the photo finds the lens, and all I add is a shutter click.
How lucky we are to live in a time when capturing images is so easy. Not long ago, I was stocking up on 400-speed film, and storing it in my refrigerator. Remember rewinding the film in order to get it processed, and the anticipation (!) of waiting to get those prints back? Those days are long gone; now, you know which shots you will discard almost as soon as you take them. Images fill our world, and the history of our daily lives is accumulating in a million cloud files from around the planet.
Still, I imagine what it would be like to have one photograph - just one - of someone like Julius Caesar, or Charlemagne. Was Helen of Troy really beautiful? A photo would recast her history in an instant. Fast forward - what will those yet to come think of the photographic ghosts we leave behind?
Naturally, they will marvel at our hairstyles, and our quaint clothing. Will the voices be heard? Will the life energy really transmit itself through frozen snippets of life? I think so - as sure as I can stare into the shell blue eyes of my grandmother Angeline, photographed as a young immigrant newlywed of nineteen in 1929. I examine every detail of that picture, and I know her; I see myself, I see my children, I see my future, I see my past. It is a gift, a photo that screams of laughter and joy, of the disappointments and trials of life; of the survival of hope, and of the promise of the future.
That is why I photograph! My gift to the future is to capture the beauty of now, fleeting like quicksilver before my eyes. Look at them, but I also ask, listen to them!