The saying goes, ‘A picture is worth a thousand words.’
But are they necessarily the most important 1,000 words?
It strikes me how powerful images are in capturing memories. I instantly remember the day, the ride, who I was with, how cold it was, what prompted me to take the shot – remembering even what was going on in my life at the time.
Memories that I thought would stay attached to this specific image would have surely been lost had I not taken the shot.
I’m sure those rich details will be lost as years begin to take its toll on my body and those details slip through the cracks of an aging brain.
This was only taken a few weeks ago and I can already begin to sense that some of the details of that ride have already started to edge further and further away from me. It’s only after I went back into my journal that I was able to regain some of the rich detail of that ride. Of course, with my Garmin watch, I can recover down as far as pace, average heart rate, temperature, and even cadence – all of which prompt even more memories about the day.
As I glance over to the photo as I write this, I’m even more convinced that a picture may be worth 1,000 words, but not necessarily the most important words.
Yes, a photo is worth a thousand words describing light, color, texture, weather, attire, emotion. But what about the words that actually mean something? The name of the person I was with. The big race I was training for. The location. And one of the biggest – the date. What will always be missing are the words that a photo can’t ever capture.
Don’t just take photos. Take time to capture what those photos mean.