Since Zhou Mi posted his complete Ecuador series on Sunday, I’ve been busy reading up reviews and debates online. Yesterday I got into a mini discussion with Alice regarding why we record events in our lives and the different ways people can view these recordings. It was quite interesting.
So I don’t care much for keeping records. When I see something that I want to capture on film, it’s not for myself 20 years from now. It’s for me, right now. Something catches the eye, and I believe that the mission of photographers is to figure out what that thing is, and to express it cleanly in the frame. It could be communication with merely oneself, or it may be with other people. But that’s not important.
There are perhaps multiple levels of photography attainable by the individual. I may be just at the beginning level: photography for the self. But people may get bored with just talking to the self, they may want to talk to other people. Hence there’s photography for the people. I’m not there yet so I can’t comment on it.
Anyway, I think I’m on dangerous grounds here: it’s no longer just theory of photography, but PHILOSOPHY of photography now. It’s time to stop.
I’m thinking of why i write diaries. In a way it is for the self 20 years from now. But that wasn’t really the reason, it was a pleasant surprise, a byproduct. I often have this feeling that when i experience something important, writing it down is part of “living this moment to its fullest”. Otherwise, i somehow feel it is not COMPLETED. Like a ghost that refuses to go. lingering in the back of my mind.
Later i realized that writing them down will also enable me to relive those moments, or to have a glance of the moment again and experience it, in a lesser degree maybe, but experience it, nonetheless. I was amazed to find that out. But that remained secondary.
At the time when i came to the US, i had a fear of losing all my diaries. I thought about it. It was such a dreary feeling. I was never that afraid of anything before. Because it felt as if all my past would be empty if i lost them. Then I thought, that is ridiculous. But still, I’m really glad they are there.
I wonder if it is because I’m greedy. I don’t want things to go away to fade. I want them to be there in their full glory and can be called upon whenever I desire. As if only then, my life is full. otherwise, it is somehow incomplete. Experiencing the moment is good, but it is not enough. I need that experience to stay, too.