I recently watched a Netflix movie with Ed Harris called Kodachrome. A fictional father-son road trip story about an acclaimed photographer who is dying and his estranged son who take a road trip to Kansas to develop the father’s early Kodachrome film spools before the last factory that services this obsolete photo system shuts down. Towards the end of the movie, Ed Harris, who plays the father, speaks a line that sums up one’s obsession with photography. “In pictures you stop time; commit moments to eternity”. I may be paraphrasing but it is true. Within my travels I have stood before scenic landscapes attempting to capture the essence of what stands before me hoping to convey, in a smaller scale, what I saw and felt that made me want to remember this place or moment.
I am forever the amateur photographer. I will never be acclaimed but aspire to take the shot that makes it worthy of framing and placing on a wall reminding me of the beauty and enjoyment I felt when there. Adhering to my rule of “pack it just in case”, I overload my arms with my camera in its case, my three lens, its charger and the manual (again, just in case). When I am at a site I find impressive, I am conscious of trying not to make people wait while I take shot after shot using various settings to capture the perfect likeness. Sometimes I get it, other times I could have bought a postcard and got the same result in less time.
When it comes to people shots, everyone prefers the candid approach and so do I. Unfortunately, I am hard to miss with a Nikon D80 and a telephoto lens covering my face. If I stand back, I am missing the company of my companions. If I don’t, most often the subjects become self-conscious and the spontaneity is gone. It comes to deciding if I want to be the photographer or take part in the fun. A compromise I have yet to resolve.
I don’t think most realize how difficult photography is. I had a photographer friend, Gary who was an excellent wildlife and landscape photographer. On occasion, Gary and I would spend a day in the city and take photos. He was a great teacher instructing me on shutter speed and aperture settings. I took some great shots with him but I didn’t get enough time learning. He maintained his art and would go on these photography trips by himself to some obscure places and come back with closeups of wildlife on a lake that made me wonder how he got off the lake alive. He took some amazing pictures of nature and its inhabitants but in order to get it right, he would be in a canoe for at least 6 hours alone until the daylight ended. He loved his art but I don’t think he ever got paid enough for his efforts if he got paid at all.
So I am leaving for London in a few days and will pack my camera and all its associated paraphernalia. I hope I can get some great shots without annoying my husband or friends. Our last trip was a cruise around the Baltic with stunning landscapes and amazing times. Here is just a few of the 250 memories captured in time.