[Picture by Cool Japan on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/cooljapanfan]
Not too long ago I had a terrifying dream. It started off pretty calm, and by considering the content alone it doesn’t seem to be that bad, but the implications of it had me disturbed for a while. My interpretations of it may be loose, but at the very least I wanted to express it through writing here.
In the dream I was in a large park with many beautiful trees and plants in the area, many people were enjoying the weather and having fun with friends and family. It seemed like spring, and perhaps my dreaming of it signified my excitement for the return of spring, since winter seems to last forever. Although the park looked amazing with alot of great things to see and pictures to be taken, there was one tree in particular that was phenomenal. In my dream it looked like a large 4 story high sakura tree; pink cherry blossoms sat on the tree’s branches, waving in the wind and providing shade for the many people underneath it. I thought it looked amazing, and I decided to take my phone out of my pocket to take a simple picture, as I always do. After lining up the shot, I pressed the capture button, content that I had gotten a great shot to upload for a picture later. But disturbingly enough, when I lowered my camera two things had occurred within the space of a few seconds that I just couldn’t believe, and had it not been a dream I might have been a bit depressed by it. Firstly, the people underneath the tree were no longer there, seemingly vanished and had inhabited different parts of the park. Secondly, and much more strangely, the tree had died, with dead cherry blossoms scattered all over all over the ground as if it had recently lost its leaves. I didn’t understand; how could that have happened so suddenly? I wondered if it was my picture taking that had somehow triggered the blossoms to fall, and immediately it hit me to check the picture. My heart sank as I saw that in the picture all that was there was the same dead tree, no beautiful cherry blossoms to be seen. Truly disturbing, though it didn’t take me long to piece together that it was a dream. Waking up later however I couldn’t help but shake the whole experience from my memory.
The deeper psychological implications are beyond my expertise to analyse, and to be honest I doubt that it means anything truly detailed. I can say however that it’s involved with my photography hobby that I’ve been doing for years. With the excellent camera quality on my new phone, the Sony Xperia Arc S, and the growing popularity of the pictures on my blog perhaps I’ve grown to really appreciate this hobby more than ever. I’ve been taking more and more awesome pictures, and I never hesitate to take out my phone whenever I see something impressive. Yet sometimes it’s not always possible to capture the perfect moment in a picture, with the slightest change altering the vision you had hoped for the picture’s outcome. Perhaps the dream represented a fear that I’d lose the chance to capture amazing scenes, or perhaps it represented not being able to get amazing scenes at all. Whatever the case I was incredibly worried by the dream, and I admit I still am a bit worried.
If I could give wider implications of this dream, beyond that of the field of photography, it could be that sometimes we miss chances in life purely out of just that, chance. Sometimes we try to do things and we’re either out of time or just missed it completely, no fault of our own. In my life I’ve been used to this kind of disappointment, as I know it’s not possible to get everything you want or enjoy all the amazing sights of life. At times you have to enjoy things as they last, whether or not you’re able to enjoy it for long. Although this realization led me to a conclusion, a conclusion about why I do photography. Pictures are immortal, they capture a scene as it was and can tell a story about the scene in variety of ways depending on perspective. Many people have different reasons for taking pictures but the fact remains that a picture can hold a moment in time for as long as the picture exists. I started taking pictures of landscapes and skies because I love how beautiful the world can look at different times of the day and I wanted greatly to share this sight with others that might not have seen it at the same time I did. Although previously I never owned a camera good enough to see what I saw, this new camera comes as close as I’ve wanted for years. With it, I’ve taken many brilliant pictures which, while amateurish, have captured and immortalized the type of scenes I’ve wanted people to see. I may not always catch the perfect moment, and there are many pictures that I’ve missed the opportunity to take, but whenever I can i endeavour to take a snapshot of something amazing.
Things change, environments alter, and scenery won’t remain the same forever. But for the short moment that a scene does exist its the job of a photographer to immortalize that scene, keeping the picture like the memory of the life of a scene. If anything my dream taught me it’s that things don’t last forever but if we can cherish it in the time they last then we can remember the excitement we had from witnessing them. It’s a highly complex notion, but I believe that seeing the dead tree picture taught me that, but I also firmly believe that had I understood this sooner the picture I would have taken would have been of the alive tree. If I could dream that same dream again I would take the same picture at the same time I did, and I have faith that the picture I’d see was the beautiful, blossoming cherry tree even if the cherry tree before me had died. It is my duty as a photographer to honor the memory of such things.