Tomorrow over 100,000 people will take to the streets, in Vancouver, to watch the Vancouver Canucks compete to win the Stanley Cup. An estimated 50,000 photographs will be taken as everyone attempts to capture the decisive moment. The challenge is, as always, how to translate an internal feeling of euphoria, felt in a live moment full of anticipation and cheering, into a static image that then recreates that feeling when experienced later by looking at a photograph.
The reality is the majority of photographs taken tomorrow will feel like a dead shadow of the actual live experience, as they will become lost in the translation of photography. A lot of people will get home look at their photos and think “these photos really don’t capture the moment at all!” Why is that? The reason is what we feel and sense in a live experience is different then what the camera sees and more importantly what is experienced when the image from that camera is viewed.
Without getting into a lengthy explanation as to why, I would like to simply suggest the following tip, look for people kissing. OK if this sounds a bit voyeuristic, it is not meant to be, it is based on the knowledge that some of the most moving celebration style images have shown people kissing. The reason being that the image of a kiss recreates the feeling of euphoria, when looking at a photograph, very effectively. As viewers of the image of the kiss, within the photograph, we find ourselves moved into the state of euphoria, even if for the briefest of moments. The best examples of such a visual expression elevate the actual live experience into a different realm within our collective memory. Consider for example the following examples and when you are in that moment on Georgia Street give it a try, kissing that it is, you might be surprised by the results.
Here are some examples by some of the great visual artists.
Robert Doisneau, Gustav Klimt, Auguste Rodin & video still from CBC Hockey Night in Canada, Game 5.