Can A Picture Capture a Moment?

20 Jul

A sensible man will remember that the eyes may be confused in two ways – by a change from light to darkness or from darkness to light; and he will recognize that the same thing happens to the soul.  ~Plato

The definition of the soul is the spiritual part of the human being, the part that is regarded across the word as immortal, and the part that is the essence of our being. But what does the soul mean to us? To me my soul is the untouchable part of me; the bit that belongs to me alone and is something that cannot be affected by another person’s actions or beliefs. Over the centuries people have been persecuted, bullied and stereotyped, but their souls have remained defiant, being controlled only by themselves. You just have to look at Anne Frank, Martin Luther King or Nelson Mandela to see what I’m talking about.

Across the world there is a belief in many religions that a photo can steal part of your soul. It has something to do with the power of mirrors and stems from old folklore when the mirror could cause a soul to become trapped. The superstition of breaking a mirror stems from this too, as by breaking a mirror it was believed you were causing damage to the soul.

So can a camera truly capture a moment in time? I’m not sure whether I would go as far as to say that it steals a little of your soul, but im also not sure that it can truly capture that second of time. if you remember back to a time that you enjoyed, that was special to you and that your mind is cast back to, and then look at an image from that day, does the photo really take in the emotions that made it so special to you?

An example of this was the weekend that I just had. Would a photograph had made my Friday night any less entertaining, and would it have made me remember it any differently? Would a picture from Sunday have made me remember the smell of the baby with any more strength, or her tight little grip on my finger? Would it have made me smile any more when Lilly showed me how she had learn to rollypolly if I had documented it in photo form?

I will remember the simple things that make me happy in my life regardless of whether there is a 6×4 to help me out with it. And I think that if you spend all your time taking pictures of that sunset/the baby/the beach from the cliffs then you might just miss the pure pleasure of actually being there and living in the moment.


13 Responses to “Can A Picture Capture a Moment?”

  1. Vix @ LittleMissEverything July 20, 2011 at 10:50 am #

    I always think that at concnerts – people just spend the whole time taking pictures or filming it instead of enjoying it. I do like holiday pics so I can remember a particular scene I loved and I have photos in my room of my NYC and Paris trips so I guess I’m on the fence on this one 🙂

  2. prenin July 20, 2011 at 1:53 pm #

    Hi hun! 🙂

    Yes, I collected lots of pictures and video of the God kids growing up, but Pat and Neil didn’t take care of the photographs and all that remain are the ones I kept because their home flooded after a burst pipe and they lost everything.

    In a way I became guardian of their memories and now they have children of their own I keep telling them ‘Take Photographs!’

    Of course they do not listen…

    Love and hugs!


  3. Tori Nelson July 20, 2011 at 2:44 pm #

    I ditto Vix’s comment. If I’m really enjoying myself, picture-snapping is the last thing on my mind! Love the Plato quote, too!

  4. kim sisto robinson July 20, 2011 at 4:16 pm #

    –So true about missing the moments…
    I feel that writers miss out , as well… We
    are so busy with words that we miss “real Life.”
    good insight! xx

  5. JamieAnne July 20, 2011 at 4:35 pm #

    I take a lot of pictures for my blog. With cooking and gardening posts it’s a necessity.
    I don’t take a lot of photos of my family out and about though. A handful on vacation. A snap shot here or there. Honestly, I’d hardly take any pictures if not for my phone. I always seem to forget my camera.
    Having teenaged kids, I can say, photos of my kids as babies and toddlers are precious to me. They don’t hold the memories, but they do enhance the memories.

    Great post!

  6. Caroline July 20, 2011 at 4:52 pm #

    You’ve definitely got an interesting point. I am the ultimate photographer and am snapping shots of everything–my food, friends, family, etc. You don’t even want to know how many photos I have in iPhoto, it’s a bit obnoxious. Ha!

  7. pegoleg July 20, 2011 at 5:30 pm #

    Nobody wants to stand around for the dumb pictures, but 20, 30, 50 years later, how precious to have them. My memory is getting so bad that I welcome a picture to trip it into revealing it’s secrets.

  8. jessiepeace July 20, 2011 at 7:34 pm #

    I love this post. When I have nights out with friends I take a lot of photo’s on my camera and I have DSLR to play with and do some photography. But sometimes when I am somewhere I end throwing my camera to someone else because after a while clicking a button ruins your night when all you want to do is have fun.

    However I love how many photographs I have on my wall and on my laptop. Flicking through them makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside knowing I have all those wonderful memorise. Not that I was feeling fuzzy then, but it can make you appreciate something you didn’t at the time.

    Pictures are strange, they can show so much but be hiding just as much at the same time.

  9. Rickster July 20, 2011 at 11:26 pm #

    Such a great post. I remembered the pictures I took during my Europe trip with my Dad before I went off to university. Great trip, I remember the breeze, the exotic language flowing through the air, and the great taste of food, despite the costs. =)

  10. Kari @ bite-sized thoughts July 21, 2011 at 1:28 am #

    Glad to have stumbled across your blog 🙂 I grappled with this question on our recent holiday, as it sometimes felt like trying to capture a scene on film meant I wasn’t able to sit back and enjoy it there and then. At the same time, I love having photos to look back on – I guess balance is required.

    • tinkerbelle86 July 21, 2011 at 12:47 pm #

      oh i know me too, although when i look back on holiday ones one beach pretty much looks like the next

  11. thecompletecookbook July 21, 2011 at 7:21 am #

    Hi Tinkerbelle, you have a fabulous blog and a wonderful way of writing.
    Thanks for popping over and visiting my little bit of the blogosphere.
    🙂 Mandy

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