2.26.2011

The Memory Keeper

I recently finished listening to The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards on audiobook.  It was a book I picked up at McKay's - something to listen to while driving back and forth to work. I didn't realize it had anything to do with photography, but it does. The main character in the book is a doctor who becomes a fairly well known photographer. The premise is that he was hiding behind his camera instead of engaging the world, trying to stop time instead of letting life happen. 

There's a lot of pain in this book and it wasn't necessarily a light-hearted, enjoyable pick because of that.  It definitely conveys the emotions that can be experienced when you live with secrets and lies.  Not the happiest book out there, but with a redeeming ending. I thought it had some cool quotes in regards to photography. At one point, there's a discussion on how he defines beauty: "'What is beauty?' she wanted to know...'Is beauty to be found in form? Is meaning?'...'Intersections,' he said mildly..'Convergence. That's what I'm after. I don't take a theoretical approach. I photograph what moves me." I really like this statement.  In the book, the art critic he's talking to scoffs and says no one can escape the theoretical.  I agree with him, though. To me, photography and beauty in its purest form just happens.  The world aligns perfectly and there's an instant where something ordinary is just beautiful to you.  There are always rules of composition that state how to take a picture of something that will be the most pleasing to the eye: rule of thirds, leading lines, vanishing points.  In the end, it won't move anyone else if it didn't move you.

Later, the book refers to photography as "The intricate and exhausting task of trying to transform the world into something else."  It is turning the ordinary into the extraordinary, but I find that the hardest part is not transforming the world into something that's not, but truly conveying what the world looks like through my eyes.  Letting others experience that moment in time that moved me.

These are some of my favorite pics that I took at moments in time when it just felt right. The world aligned in a way that I found beautiful.

To see more of Christine's fine art and portraits, click here.

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