Mnemosyne vs. Camera

It was raining hard today and I went on a drive. I went to a place called Mount Soledad from where you can see vast expanses of San Diego and the endless ocean and as I peered down from the mountain top I saw one of the most beautiful views of SD I've ever witnessed.

For a second I thought, hell! why do I not have a camera, it's a shame that this view will dissolve into the ravenous night in a few minutes and all that I'll be left with are faint impressions on an uncertain canvas. And dissolve it did. But I still stand by my aversion to a camera and my dislike for photographs. Photographs are too perfect to be interesting. They are too truthful to be beautiful. What memory preserves in jars of translucent glass, pickled in spices of uncertainty, salted with a heady mixture of imagination and lies - a photograph crams it up in definite color schemes between the convenient borders of a 4X6. At this point, I'm not sure if the background far into the ocean today was dark green or blackish gray, or if the patches of rain far into the distance overwhelmed the sunny green land but mnemosyne, in all her supple grace, paints a picture that has a vague tint of satisfaction and peace. They say that the most erogenous part of the body is the brain. They say that the best actors in the world are the ones that we carry in our heads. I agree. A photograph is only perfect. Too bad it fails to do any better.


Parth said...

Been there. The views are really fantastic from that point. I think photographs are blank sheets of paper. A good photographer can extract character out of it. Just landing up with a camera is not enough.

Ankit said...

Well, next time you're here and if I'm still here, how about meeting up? You seem to be a very interesting person from your posts :).

That's what I do. Land up with a camera. It's more like a crash landing!

Parth said...

Sure. Will take you up on the offer if I ever get out of Seattle :) One of my closest friends was at the UCSD for long years, so I have made multiple trips to the place. I actually put up several photography based posts, but most of those good snaps are accidents :)

Nagell said...


About Me

My photo
Like a particularly notorious child's tantrums, a mountaneous river's intemperance, a volcano's reckless carelessness and the dreamy eyes of a caged bird, imagination tries to fly unfettered. Hesitant as she takes those first steps, she sculpts those ambitious yet half baked earthen pots.