I grew up spending quite a few days and nights traveling by train when I lived in Poland. My family used to travel quite a bit and even though I was still just a child I can vividly remember a number of strong memories. One of those memories was pulling into Warsaw, the capital city in the dead of night. The train was crossing the Vistula River, which essentially divides the city. I was gazing out the window with child like wonder, watching another train off in the distance cross a bridge in a blur of lights.
It was an incredibly strong memory and with the flow of time has become an almost surreal scene but one that still harbors the exact same emotion during that ride.
On my last day in Japan last autumn I had made a strong effort to return to Narita Airport by myself and of course by train. I knew it would be a chance to relive that memory and also create a new one. During my travels in Japan I made it an effort to avoid listening to music on my iPod specifically to soak in the atmosphere of my surroundings but this final train ride I put on a particular track which I thought captured the feeling I could not escape that day.
I tossed in a roll of film into my camera and just enjoyed the moment and shot. Nothing more. The moment was truly surreal.
A few months have gone by since then and every time the song comes up it pulls me away from reality and takes me right back in that moment, the incredibly vivid emotions and the imagery associated with it all. To me, that is something that has become incredibly powerful these days.
As photographers we often strive for that, not just to capture a moment but to be able to pull the essence of it, the very emotion and bottle it up in an image. It’s amazing the power that music and imagery can have on us. Having the ability to reach out and grab an individual on a level far below the surface is simply beautiful. It’s something I aim to make a bigger aspect of my goals and ambitions as a photographer.
The particular image up top, on a technical level is nothing to note, nor is it particularly a good example of well done photography. However, to me it’s an image that carry a lot of emotional weight behind it. Technicals are important, with out a doubt. However, there are many times where they can take a complete back seat to the core of the image. I spend my days picking apart the mistakes and flaws of my own images. It can be a little ironic then that my favorite ones often have very little technical merit or design to them.
Photography can be a truly wonderful thing somedays.