I recently noticed, how photographs change my mind.
From looking and experiencing to picture memory. I have tried to share with you the joy I get every morning, when driving through a stretch of glorious wood on my way to work. To this purpose, I also took some photographs to share here, in order to “show” you, what I was talking about. Ever since I puplished those pics, I drive through that wood and see the photographs, rather than the wood itself. This bugs me no end. To the point, that I can’t wait for the leaves to change their colours, in order to rid myself of that image in my head. Overlaying reality in a very annoying way.
Long since I have this sneaking suspicion, that when thinking of things past, I recall memories of photographs rather than reality itself. With travels, especially. Recalling any given place I have been to, first many images pop up before my inner eye. Usually, I am led to believe, these are memories of the reality experienced there. But whenever I flip through my albums (for the younger generation: in olden times, one had the choice of having prints made or opt for slides. I am the print type), I realise, that my memory recalls the photographs. Only when making a conscious effort, I am able to remember, what actually happened, how things looked (away from that split second click-instant), smelt or felt.
Maybe much of life has passed me by, because I used to be such a camera maniac. More busy with getting the right angle and exposure than experiencing my surroundings. On the other hand: for some years, I stopped even taking a camera along on trips. And I have a hard time, recalling anything about those trips at all. Sometimes, I am even taken by surprise, when a place is mentioned and I am reminded, that I have been there, already. The sea at Germany’s northern edges, for instance. The Netherlands. No photographs. Hardly any memory until an outward impulse gets my mind going. Trips, on which I took my camera along, are much more present in my mind.
Weird. I start to wonder, what my memorized reality would be like, had I never started to take photographs. Would I have stored a completely different version of what I generally refer to as “my life”?