Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Ripping the fabric of space-time

IMG_0130, originally uploaded by Titoxd.

Sometimes I wonder why I take pictures, especially when I hear people close to me rattle off all the ways I lose money by taking them. Sure, I have to spend money to get the equipment to take them to begin with, and also have to spend money in storage, hosting, etc... However, that incessant ranting has become so prevalent lately that it has been difficult for me to feel comfortable taking as many photographs as I want to.

However, when I see pictures like this one, it reminds me of why I love being behind the lens. At their very core, photographs are literally snapshots in time.

The result of depressing the shutter button, at least in my DSLR, is an image file that stores information of the position and illumination of objects within a given number of steradians. However, behind the technical definition of photographs lies a deeper meaning. Camera sensors do much more than store the number of stray photons that strike a surface—they also store a snapshot of the emotional state of the person operating the sensor. A camera opens a portal to a particular time and place, allowing us to recall our thoughts, our companions, our experiences—in short, our emotions.

A photograph can thus can act as a portal through space-time, warping us to a time and place when memories where born. As such, I don't care if my hobby is expensive, as its opportunity cost is minuscule compared to the benefit I attain from it.

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