Memories We Forget We Had


The ability to delete digital photos on the spot has its advantages but it also carries some huge risks. How well suited are we in that moment to really decide whether an image I made is gone to be wiped away forever?


Every time I travel somewhere I always come home excited to pore over the photos I made and pick out the so-called winners, or keepers. The rest of the images then get consigned to some folder or other where typically they gather dust, either actual or virtual. But it never fails that I find myself back among those images some months later and sure enough I will find three or four or even half a dozen that suddenly I really like.


The problem comes from the expectations we have in any given moment. Looking through those images right after the trip, my memories are fresh and with them come certain expectations of what I want to see, or don’t want to see. I measure the value I place on my images against these expectations. But over time those memories and expectations fade and as they do, I will see and value different things in those photos.


All of this is just a long way of explaining that this image of Aber Falls is very much in that category of images I initially passed over but on a fourth or fifth revisiting I finally noticed it and finally began to appreciate certain qualities of it. I made these with my Hasselblad and my Nikon, not a digital camera, but if I had might I have deleted it since it initially escaped my notice?  Probably not, but maybe. It took me over two years to get around to liking these images and now I really like them. They possess a quiet and serene calm to it that appeals to me.


So yes, be mindful that memories change, values change, what we can see or not see changes. The photos we like or love will change.

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