A moment… a memory

Girls of the Savanna - A Phillip Williams Photograph

You know …no you don’t know what can happen after a shot is taken, after a single moment is captured and frozen in time. Sometimes, no, most times that image lives on long after the person or object is gone.  Phillip Williams (on Facebook)

A photograph is a moment frozen in time, given how some of us take photographs it could be a moment that is a split second, or minutes (those nifty long exposures that show light trails at night or even star trails in the sky).  Phillip Williams captured a moment, a beautiful photograph at Guyana’s Rodeo showing two lovely women on horseback.  The one to the left with the blue tie around her neck is Cheryl, a friend of Cheryl’s told Phil that she took her own life late last year, may she rest in peace.  I am not a reporter and I can’t verify this, but it’s not relevant to the emotions and thoughts that go through people’s minds when they hear things like this.

As photographers we should remember that we capture moments of people’s lives, and those moments are tied to memories, photographs can be very powerful when it comes to evoking an emotion.  Phil’s photo makes me want to head off to the Rodeo to see what these young ladies would be doing, it gives me a longing for Lethem and the open savannah outside, it brings back memories of vaulted skies and distant mountains.

For friends and family of Cheryl, this photo may bring joyful memories of the Rodeo, of how she lived and laughed and loved, or it may bring back painful memories of her death and the sorrow that those who loved her felt at her passing, and the unanswered questions about the “why” of it all.

If you are going to call yourself a photographer, a photo-hobbyist, an amateur photographer, an aspiring photographer, and yes, even a snapshottist, what you produce with each shutter-click can be very meaningful.  Will every photograph we take have that impact, probably not!  Should we strive to make every photograph that we show to others have more meaning than just a shutter-click, definitely!

I wanted Phil to do a small write-up, but he said he is more of a “Visual” type of guy, no argument there, he’s quite a talented photographer and videographer, his photos and videos do their own story-telling, I seem to like adding words to mine 🙂

Click on the photo to see the original at Phil’s Flickr feed.

4 thoughts on “A moment… a memory

  1. Very interesting to have your thoughts on this one. Different photos always strike us in different ways, but I think you hit the nail on the head here. Phillip caught an important moment here.

    1. This was one of those times when I decided to just put a few minutes aside and just write it, or I’d never do it. I originally asked Phil to write something, since he brought it to our notice, but he declined, so I asked his permission to use the photo for it.

  2. Rose

    Well done Mike. That’s why I do not mind pictures with Man’s “foot print” in them. One can look back in later years and see what we as caretakers of the earth has done to or with it. As you said. May her soul rest in peace.

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