I've Been Thinking…

I was thinking about photographs. We have one photo I really love that was taken years ago by a professional photographer, a good friend of ours. The location is idyllic; it is on our lake property by “the tunnel” and I think the photo evokes thoughts and emotions. It feels calm and peaceful and perfect. Who wouldn’t want to be there in that place with those people?

To me, what is most interesting about this photo is not what you see but what you don’t. And that is my point. You bring what you know to the photo you are viewing and, as long as you aren’t in the photo or taking it, you have no idea really of what you are seeing. In my peaceful and beautiful family photo you do not see the 4 year old daughter of the photographer balancing precariously on that log at the left of the photo. You do not hear our chocolate lab barking and tearing around on the rocks because he desperately wants to be with us. Why didn’t we include him in the photo, I wonder? You have no idea how frustrated I am with my oldest son because he was so late getting to the lake that we almost lost the light. And you have no idea that the photographer’s feet are numb because he’s been standing in that cold northern lake for so long.

And today, in this digital age, things are even more complicated. Everything, and I mean every single element, can be manipulated, cropped, changed, added to, subtracted from, embellished—how are we to tell where reality begins or ends? Seeing is believing? I’m not so sure of that.

Author: judywig

I’m a retired educator, mother of four, grandmother of five. I live in a small town in northern BC (with my husband of 47 years) where I have lived for the past 50 years. I came to this place for my first year teaching, intending to stay for one year only and yet here I remain. And happy to be here. My passions are travelling and reading; my hobbies are knitting, quilting and taking photos.

2 thoughts on “I've Been Thinking…”

  1. Judy
    Your photo and comments struck a chord for me too. We had a family photo done a few years back at the request of our youngest son. We may even used the same photographer. Lol!
    So much not captured in those smiling faces. My son, the one that wanted the family photo didn’t even show up and we had to make arrangements for him to be photoshopped in so definitely that picture doesn’t reflect reality but the memories are real and I’m glad we made the effort although I was mad as hell at the time.

    Since our photo was taken, my dad has passed away, our oldest son married his then, girlfriend and we have a two year old grandson. Our youngest is living with a young lady who has a little girl so we also have a granddaughter. My mom has had a fall and her health has deteriorated a bit so she is living with us. So many changes in such a short time. Life and love go on and thank goodness for the memories.

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  2. Judy, your rock tunnel location is indeed idyllic. Having experienced it I can fully agree. The adage ‘a photo tells a thousands words’ is perhaps passé in this digital age given the ability to alter images, the story, the reality. It was interesting to read about the ‘behind the scene’ activity and the memories the photo triggered for you. When you have the urge to write a blog post but struggle for a topic maybe consider featuring another photo and the story behind. I might just do that myself. Thanks for the inspiration.

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