Choose to invent

Some musings on photography and life in the aftermath of the strongest earthquake in Italy since 1980.

Recently Joey from Joeyfully Stated wrote a kind comment to my post. I mean, she does that often but this one made me think more than usual. She wrote: “I can’t tell if you only go to beautiful places or if you only photograph them beautifully.” My thought immediately went to my recent photos of our messy flat – but those are kinda nice too. 😀

I have saved the following quotation, also recently:

To invent … is to choose.
—Henri Poincaré

Since I first started taking photographs, there has been a quotation in the back of my mind, saying how a photographer is only as good as the selection of photos s/he lets others see. Today I tried to track it down but no luck. If anybody knows which quotation I mean and who said it, please, step up. (I found many others instead. They are down there.)

This is all there is, really – a selection. (Even though Italy doesn’t take away any, and Slovenia neither.) I tend to select photos that would please me if I saw them on another’s page. This reminds me of how I try on clothes in a shop: I only look from the neck down and imagine seeing the item on a person approaching.

So I’ve been choosing all my life: things that I wish I’d say, write, wear, photograph; not to take them over as a vulture or a vampire now that they are done, but to be there when they were born. What you choose, you become.

It started with sticking posters, then own photographs, then a mish-mash of inspiration on the wall.

Spoil all the walls with sellotape marks.
—Sachin Kundalkar, “Cobalt Blue”

The following is something I’m still learning to grip, the four edges and what they can do:

Photography is about finding out what can happen in the frame. When you put four edges around some facts, you change those facts.
—Garry Winogrand

And this is how my blog feels and how it could be labelled if it really had to be: a blog for anyone who really sees.

Your photography is a record of your living, for anyone who really sees.
—Paul Strand

The last quotation below captures how living in Italy feels today, after a series of earthquakes, ending with the strongest which I could feel as well, or so it felt to me (we are in central Italy as well, but on the other side, the west coast). This morning I mentioned a swaying sensation to amore, who felt nothing and called it anxiety.

The reminder is that we are here on borrowed time, no matter what we do. So we might as well have that glass of wine, an evening in, pizza with fries, a laugh at own preposterity at playing the photographer:

You don’t take a photograph. You ask, quietly, to borrow it.

The following photographs were all taken on the same June day in Roma. How eternal it is, really? (They enlarge upon contact.)

Photo: a © signature mmm production

8 Comments Add yours

  1. Susanne says:

    What a thoughtful meditative post. I love the idea “What you choose, you become.” I am finding that through blogging and by choosing to write I am becoming a writer. You are most definitely a photographer and your choices definitely reflect your life. Beautiful, beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, Susanne, thank you very much. It’s just that… how to say it… I wish to be a writer as well! 😉 But I know, it’s all reflection and observation of signs. We are making it happen.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Norm 2.0 says:

    We are all here on borrowed time aren’t we?
    I think you have developed a skillful eye to take beautiful pictures AND you have the good fortune to visit beautiful places. What I admire most is that you never seem to take either of those for granted 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Norm, thank you so much. One comment like this beats ten thousands of empty likes of unknown and uninterested people lured in by the usual lures. I cherish it beyond means of expression.


  3. bikerchick57 says:

    I think Joey is correct on both counts – you visit beautiful places and live in one as well. Thanks for sharing those wonderful photos.

    It is horrible about the earthquakes hitting the same area of Italy. I’m wondering how many people are packing up and moving out, if they are able. I would be so afraid and anxious, at this point, if I were living there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Mary! I can’t even imagine. They are being seriously tried.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. joey says:

    Seriously, ridiculously beautiful photos, all.the.time!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh, youuuu. 😉 Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

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