I glanced at the cover of the National Post today and an article by Katie Rook caught my eye. The title is: Record Now, Experience Later. She speaks about the rising trend to digitally document events as they are happening, to have a record rather than fully participate and be in the event or moment. I recalled a reflection I had about my own photography experiences, more than a year ago. An excerpt from the posting is below:
Is there a point where one stops being in the moment and becomes separated into trying to have a picture of the moment – without actually experiencing it? On occasion I have felt this question begin to nag. Sometimes what my own eye is capturing, the sounds I am hearing, the smells being taken in and the feeling of the moment can only be captured and held together by me – not the camera. Thus, sometimes I put the camera away. The recollection of some moments, scenes, sights or experiences will only be found in my memory and stories, and not in any photo.
Further, there is authority in experiencing, not just documenting. If one wants to lend credence to an experience, and be able to draw meaning from it, learn from it, pass the “experience” garnered on to others, than one has spend effort and be in the experience. This effort can include not hitting the record button.
With an itchy record finger, there are times when we are not giving ourselves the opportunity to properly develop thoughts and emotions within the experience. Without the thoughts and emotions, how are we to place the experience in context?
Time magazine awarded its Person of the Year honours to You in 2006, because You are able to capture, post, share and discuss any event, anywhere in the world, in almost any medium. However, to keep Your credibility, it might be that sometimes You have to stop recording and just be.