Every roll of film has 36 photos, and if every photo is a captured moment in time, then together as a roll they are so much more than just “36 photos”. When shooting film, there is generally no “Auto mode”, one must know how to use the knowledge of their experience when calculating certain factors. The equation in itself has to deal with elements such as time, and environment. How much time should I leave the shutter open to capture enough light to expose the negative? It’s a skill that must be learned to produce a photo, and to perfect this procedure adds more significance to each individual photograph. On top of the care of what goes into each photo, one has to add on the contemplation of the moments importance. The moment has to be more than just a pretty image you want to take, this is where things like composition and focus come into play. So with emphasis on choosing that moment, making sure it’s important enough to capture, and making sure you’ve done everything correctly to produce the photo, each exposure is more than just clicking a button. Individually all these things come together to deliver one purpose, in this way the photos make up the “Life of the roll”. This philosophy and principle of photography is why I love doing it. I am in control of what I want every roll to be, what its sum should portray and what that rolls “life” and “story” are. In essence, each roll tells a narrative, it has place, time and an arc, and it is told through 36 moments where every photo is in itself, is a lesson. So in each roll, throughout its life, those photos represents its “life’s lessons”. This is the connection that makes me believe and value the importance photography has to life.
In our lives we are instructed, and set our ways based off the life lessons we occur throughout our time. When thought about deeply, the usage of these lessons do more than “guide” us though, they become staples that have a dominate hand in the approach and direction we take and have in life. In the time I have spent trying to understand myself, I’ve come to see that there is a great connection in why people are the way they are, why they do what they do, how these aspects came to be and the control someone has on them. To me these questions are more than just simple thoughts, alone they may portray a person, but together I truly believe they can represent more than just what we see in someone and in ourselves. Alas, I think learning someones life lessons and how they use them to navigate their time, should be considered when considering this idea. These lessons come from either in someones life based off milestones or failures, blessings or hardships. They are the outcomes from situations in life, they have a reflective point of view and are based in a form change and growth. In this way, these lessons are a product of a forced outcome, the person has either very little or great control in it. Since a “lesson” in itself indicates education, most lessons of life are brought on by misunderstanding, or better yet failure. And like a variable in an equation, its the effects of these hardships or blessings one goes through in life that influences these questions I have. But again with deeper thought, is their a way in taking greater control of the outcome? Can someone regulate these outcomes better? If they conduct someones life, shouldn’t the narrative be in the guidance of the person they reflect?
Recently I’ve come to the realization that I’ve been ignoring certain thoughts, emotions and feelings that have only led to issues that could have been avoided. And only since I’ve overcome the effects and suffering of the simple process of “one after the other,” I realized that these occurrences are just that, one after the other. And this may not sound profound and can seem obvious and over simplified, but I genuinely feel that it’s something everyone deals with, unnecessarily. For example, life may tell us to slow down and we may ignore it, we think they we are capable of pushing forward. But it’s not until we get overwhelmed or fail at something that we realize we actually needed to stop and listen when we first became aware of the symptoms. Because there becomes a threshold where there is no longer progress, but suffering. Now, life is crazy and we can all get busy and that doesn’t mean we are just ignoring these little indicators life is giving us, but this seems to be a pattern. In sticking with this example, I bet when you think reflect on a hardship you’ve encountered, you can recall a time before it where you felt signs in your body or mind warning you about a possible outcome. With me in mind, here’s a lesson: Stop. Breathe. Take a step back and slow down. Think about what needs to be done, what your priorities are and in the grand scheme, what is important? Is this worth the time and the exposure of yourself to gain the outcome of what it is you want? It’s like the philosophy of the photo to the roll. As a mantra? “Remember the Photograph”. Remember the importance of each photograph in a roll, take control of the factors and command the outcome that suits the narrative you want. Use the guidance we receive before hand to control the education we direct ourselves with. We try so hard and do so much to accomplish what we want, but our mind isn’t the only factor at play. Listen more to what may not have the ability to verbally inform. Don’t let the change and influence come through regret or suffering a hardship after the fact, understand they will always come as blessings first, you just have to expose yourself to them.
We as a society seem to value the lives of people who inform us on how to achieve accomplishments. It’s usually the old wise man who tells impressive and prized tales but consider this, its the ignorant old fool that we learn from most. It’s the lessons we learn from the hardships instead of the achievements that direct our paths. This approach of “controlling the outcome of life” and the difficulties of its factors is funny because it is not profound, it’s almost comically commonsensical. I use the words and theories of equations and plans like its a game of math, but its completely incomparable. Math only makes sense, because it has definitives, its essentially black and white. And life is rarely set in monochrome, the beauty of life is its color. Life rarely makes sense, it’s always changing and that is the basis of our evolution. But, how many times does this happen? How many times does this little idea of ignoring and pushing forward instead of listening, comprehending and accepting, happen to you? Yes its small, yes it’s a basic idea but it fits the narrative of the hardships we learn from life through its lessons. And in that way, with this reminder we can start enjoying the outcomes from the blessings of life’s lessons instead of the impact we get from the misery or misfortune we’ve come to deal with after the fact. By ignoring the signs? The only control is in the acceptance we “achieve” from a forced result in the end. So doesn’t it make more sense in a given circumstances we may find ourselves in, to accept the circumstance? And inevitably control the outcome? Again, “Remember the Photograph”. Photographs start as a negative until they are exposed, by ignoring the blessing, we expose ourselves to the negative. If I give myself the time now to expose myself to the negative, I can have a greater control in the outcome that guides myself in my environment.