November 18, 2012

The Art of the Present

Furthermore, the nostalgia cycles have become so short that we even try to inject the present moment with sentimentality, for example, by using certain digital filters to “pre-wash” photos with an aura of historicity. Nostalgia needs time. One cannot accelerate meaningful remembrance.

Lovely quote from Christy Wampole in this NY Times Article titled "How to Live Without Irony". The quote crystallizes for me, my own reservations about Instagram. While I think the social relevance in the wide sharing and distribution of images is important, infusing artificial sentimentality and clouding historical perspective does more harm than good to our cultural emotional IQ.

Still more:

While we have gained some skill sets (multitasking, technological savvy), other skills have suffered: the art of conversation, the art of looking at people, the art of being seen, the art of being present.

I've always fervently believed in the importance of being present, yet see how much of my life and the way I've lived it in recent years (in part, due to technology), has actually weakened my ability to be present. Hopefully that awareness will help facilitate changes I hope to make in the coming year.


Photography is not easy. You know it takes a painter or a sculpture or a musician years to perfect their technique. Then they're free to make an expression in a matter of moments. It takes moments for a photographer to perfect his technique. And then it takes years for him to make it into something that is truly creative and worthwhile.

Paul Caponigro