PHOTO OF THE DAY – A Church In Romania
Here is my first foray into Photoshop Elements and messing around with pictures I take on my 4 year old point and click camera. While most cellphones now a days have more megapixels than my old, full bodied picture taker, like any medium, you can have the best device to capture the world in, but if you have unlimited space, are blind to beauty and can’t listen to stories, your just holding images prisoner, some random composition that in 15 minutes you can’t remember where and when and who you were with when you took them. I’m guilty of it too. I am not trying to seem like a photograph elitist. The Eiffel Tower or a farm in the country side has been photographed one billion times from every angle, at all times of the day, with every lens possible. Magazines show dolled of versions of places and products, with a high definition gloss and a professional’s studio nip and tuck. I try to photograph moments. It’s not a checklist for me to click click, smile, alright done. While the circumstances, the planning, the plane ticket, were made, the memories, the actually unexpected/unprecedented feeling and the awe are not. Made memories aren’t the ones I like. It’s the pyramids arising like mythical giants on the horizon ones that I am interested in.
Travellers seem to let this excitement, this catharsis, the journey’s adventure, go unnoticed. They look at their guidebooks, their outlines of all that is good in a city and believe nothing else worthy exists. They are too busy reading up on the facts, when the biggest fact about a lot of what man has made or what has naturally occurred on earth is the form and the experience. For every new place I go to it’s pretty much the same, but very unique deal. A church, let’s say. I’ll enter it, search for the English pamphlet, that they place at the front entrance on a wooden stand. Welcome to Blank Church, it usually says in bold black letters. I sit in a pew and read. When it indicates for me to look at something I will look. If it’s something that strikes my interested, my mind will wander and I will let it. Once I am finished reading, I will sit, I will smell, the airs flowing up from an ancient crypt below, the hollow grounds makes the floor an echo chamber for hard soled shoes that scuttle up and down the aisles. I look at everything, I learn every story, I feel every surface, because who knows if this will be my first and last time. My imagination melts my body into basic one tone colours and I walk in profile inside the frescos. No brush stroke is ever the same even in two paintings of the exact same thing done by the exact same painter and those minor reasons for subtly interest me as much as comparing decades. Okay, well, that kind of overdoes it, but you get where I am coming for? Anyways, then I will snap a few photos here and there. What are the photos for? So I can cue my mind, close my eyes, relive those echos, smell the must of rotting holy relics, imagine me among the saints and sit in the moment once again.
My first Photo of the Day Photo. I was biking with Global Agents for Change for a charity bike ride to raise funds/awareness for micro-credit. In Romania, the rolling hills hid small towns, where kind people of the earth, tilled and worked their lands. Horse and buggy are the main form of transportation. Even bicycles seem somewhat of anomaly, but especially futuristic looking ones with GPS and waterproof panniers attached to them. People wave to you with the lines in their hand etched ever more deeper from the handle of a plough or scythe. Everyone, language barrier or not is willing to put down whatever they are doing to point you in the right direction or debate with others in their village as to what the right direction really was. I tried to listen to this random farmer who tried to help us on the side of a dirt path intersection, but the screams of his tied up goat from his cart, drowned him out completely. Didn’t really matter, because the only thing that would clue me into what he meant was his hands. Every town, no matter the size, no matter the set up, no matter the apparent wealth, had a beautiful church that seemed to be the focal point of the community.