Written by Ylenia Cantello
Many photographers, professionals and others, have made their own the watchword of immortalizing the fleeting moment, imposed by a deep-rooted mentality of Western cultural education in the field of photography and beyond. In fact, they believe that a true photographer cannot miss the unique and unrepeatable moment in front of him.
Upon closer inspection, however, the unique and unrepeatable moments are infinite and continuous, not separate fragments. In the end it is the photographer who decides which of these to attribute the value of "immortal moment", unless he is always compulsively pressing the shutter button, risking however losing value to his precious moments.
The writer Italo Calvino describes this obsessive phenomenon in the chapter "The adventure of a photographer" of the book "Gli amori difficili" (1993, Oscar Mondadori, Milan) when he has the protagonist say: "Photography only makes sense if it exhausts all possible images."
And in fact, digital technology allows us to fill as many memory cards as we want by continuously shooting, trying to capture a certain light in the landscape, a certain expression in a person or a set of circumstances that give meaning to the composition of a moment of reality.
But is it really this rush, this determination to chase something that we think escapes us, that really allows us to live an experience in its entirety? What remains of everything that has been experienced: just a technical ability to show off to increase one's little ego, or to keep secret for fear that others will copy it?
How many landscape or nature photographers are willing to put down the camera and listen to the color of the sky at sunset or breathe in the gaze of a chamois? And how many people take it back when the wild animals continue their way or the sun has already moved on to another meridian and the light is only that of their own intimate wonder?
I believe it is important for a landscape and nature photographer to learn to treasure all the unphotographed experiences as an enrichment and evolution of one's being. Without having to chase anything, without forcing anything, but letting things happen as they are, including ourselves.
It's about revolutionizing your mindset and starting to look at the relationship with space, time, yourself and the natural elements in a different way.
And when we are simply in tune with what is there, extraordinary things happen because nature seems to make itself available to us. We can enjoy the freedom to take the photo or not because that image is alive and present within us and gives us a fullness that moves and tells of a profound connection with nature.
But we can also do something more: donate that photo to others. And then it is no longer about the fleeting moment but about everything present within us that accompanies us, without pressure, without judgment, without anxiety, and has the taste of our most authentic image that connects us with others.
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