Friday, July 31, 2009

Pictures of Perfect Nothings

Sitting in my camera are a bunch of pictures of nothing. Well, for most people, nothing. I took a walk around the city a few days ago with the intention of photographing the area so I'd have something by which to remember my time in Ann Arbor. After a typical shot of one of the campus buildings I was immediately bored.

Looking at the photo, I wondered how many people had stood in that same spot and taken that same photo. I wondered if there was any point in taking photos of things I could probably already find on the web.

I switched to walking around and noticing details: markings on the sidewalk and imprints in the pavement here and there that were familiar to me from my four years here. I started taking photos of only things that brought back strong memories for me. Sometimes it was just a random bush (where Kelly had spotted an "armadillo") and sometimes a sprinkler head (where we had played frisbee in the Law quad with all the sprinklers on). Some are pictures from places where I liked being rather than pictures of the places themselves.

In the process I made new memories too. After running around the top of a parking garage for a good 10 or 15 minutes taking photos of the view and of the evening sky, I eventually noticed I was being watched by a guy and his girlfriend sitting in their car, probably waiting for me to leave so they could have some major make-out time. Needless to say, it was time to leave. I really should have taken a picture of their car.

I wonder what such a collections of photos would tell people about me and my life here. I wonder what it will tell me about myself in future years.