Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Day 26: The Light

Drove by this scene earlier this evening and had a moment of "enlightenment." As I just turned the corner, I spotted the bright moon behind this bright cross above the church, and in my mind I thought "I want to capture this moment." But I hesitated and drove on for a bit.

Why? I wondered. Why am I not currently taking a picture of what I want? What is stopping me? Then I thought, "I would look crazy stepping out and taking pictures of the moon," "I might get in trouble" (for what, I don't know, looking like a bum with a camera?), "I really don't have to capture the moment," etc. etc.

Then I stopped myself, and made a quick u-turn: if I keep putting myself down, keep hesitating and holding back from those moments and images I want to capture, my photography will never progress, because I will never have taken the risk to try and learn. So, I forced myself to park the car, get out and walked back to the right spot, and took the picture I wanted (or at least tried as best I could without a tripod on hand). I was still on edge and wanted to just take the shot and go (again, for some unknown fear of "bothering" other people).

Once again, I wonder why I do this to myself, not just with photography, but in other aspects of my life? I wonder if this is a just a personality thing, or is it a larger cultural thing? Can't be the latter - I know plenty of strong, confident Pakistani women who know what they want and are willing to go for it.

Yet simply pondering over these things, and knowing that I did make that u-turn, did get out of the car, and did attempt to get the picture I wanted, helps me realize that I have the capacity to push myself, to push against my personality, to push against perhaps even small bits of culture that may be telling me I shouldn't be "pushy" because I'm a girl.

The image itself immediately and powerfully ensnared my senses, so much so that I knew I wanted to photograph it immediately. I don't particularly know or understand why. The bright cross, which symbolizes so many, many things, and the bright moon, itself a symbol, and the dark, dark night sky. Perhaps every moment and every image doesn't have to have any greater meaning, and we don't have to look into it too much. It's just moving because it is. And that's all.

And now I have a picture of it forever.

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