For me, often photography is a paradox–the attempt at true representation of real life that at the same time requires a turning away, a distraction from the immediate happenings. You may, momentarily at least, and usually at the most beautiful moment, unwrap your arms from the warmth of another in order to mess with the stupid camera to catch the perfect sunset. You may, shamelessly, stammer before a newly arrived dish, and succumb to the inexplicable and sad habit of taking photos of food. It may be that taking pictures (and I am no real photographer) is like most art, a solitary endeavor, one that at the same time requires connection to the world but only while trudging alone in it.
Sometimes I don’t think I even understand what a beautiful picture is, but I do recognize, without a doubt, when I am in the midst of beauty. And sometimes that beauty is a flower, or a bee, or a smoldering volcano, or a wooden schooner, or the complexity of a person, a person who charms me, hurts me, inspires me, turns me on, scares me, leaves me to my own devices, pampers me, frustrates me, ignores me, and embraces me when the sun slips behind the ocean and the black sand in front of a lighthouse built on volcanic rock. And then, like the sun or a buzzing bee, the beauty is gone again.
But if there is a question of reality, of truth that validates life, I will choose memory and experience over the pic of the day. But then again, I have never claimed to be either Ansel Adams or Casanova.