People always say a picture is worth a thousand words. But I always thought to myself a picture doesn’t ever say enough. I don’t believe one millisecond in time can capture the life and emotion behind the image. A brief moment that captures a still image of what we see as beautiful, funny, or something worth remembering doesn’t tell the entire story. I feel the best picture we can save is the memory, which is alive with all the senses of the moment. A picture helps us recall those senses but only offers a snap shot in time of a friend, a vacation, or a breath taking view we want to capture, in order to place in a small caged frame, and display in our home.
I love photography and trying to recreate the beautiful images I see, hear and feel, but I can never quite capture the lasting image my brain has burned into my memory. You can never capture that detail, feeling, and emotion you experienced in the moment. Whether I’m hiking, camping, or just spending time with family and friends around the fire, I feel as if I could take a picture from a million different angles, over and over again, capturing different, unique images each time. Today our society is completely connected by social media and we all know at each second where our friends are, or what our families ate for dinner. But have you ever thought to yourself, that maybe we need to take a step back and just enjoy the moment God provided, instead of trying to capture it? Maybe these beautiful snapshots in time aren’t meant to be captured, and by trying to do so, we are missing the moment. Maybe we should take a few pictures to remember the wonderful times together, then live in the moment, and allow it to become a part of us as the best photo we can save. The memory which is alive and an all encompassing rush of fresh air, gentle feeling of a light snow fall, smell of thanksgiving morning, or the call of the wild. These all natural candid shots that are rarely captured, because rushing to pull out the camera would interrupt the joy, peacefulness and natural eloquence of the moment. This feeling of enjoying the moment instead of trying to capture it rushed over me on my last hiking trip. That is when I realized I had to make a change in my own lifestyle.
While hiking Angels Landing in Zion National Park, I couldn’t help but awe over the breath taking views the park had to offer. Just as I had done on hundreds of previous trips, I tried to capture the best image of what I was seeing, but I knew ever picture I took wouldn’t do it justice. This 360 degree view of the beautiful Zion canyon, birds soaring above riding a light breeze, the soft snow fall drifting through the air, and the adrenaline rush of 1000 foot cliffs just feet from where I stood, made time seem as if it was standing still. The best photographer in the world couldn’t have recreated the emotions and free feeling I experienced on that hike. I stood there and smiled as I watched Fathers and Sons, Husband and Wives, and friends, not only enjoy the view, but relish in each others company, enjoying the lasting memories they had just made. Memories and emotions which can never be captured or recreated in a single 3×5 image.
I finally realized, maybe God reminds us to step back from the hustle and bustle we have created with facebook or instagram, and just enjoy the world around us. Next time you see that Bald eagle fly overhead, that rare shooting star streak across the night sky, or enjoy a day spent with family and friends, sit back, put down the camera and enjoy the moment before it passes you by. Remember that these wild glimpses in our beautiful world aren’t meant to be captured in a dusty old picture frame next to our bed, but are meant to run free in our lasting memory we live, breath, and feel forever.