Smart phone photography (i.e. “iPhonography”) inevitably includes some limitations. But the biggest upside (that in some respects outweighs many of those limitations) is its omnipresence. The mid-July moonrise in this image — a martian mime lifting up out of the Green Mountains, a fiery moonbeam searing the surface of Lake Champlain, a blurry silhouette observing, and the viewer’s vantage that of a voyeur peeking over the shoulder of the silhouetted observer — is possible because my phone was with me when my camera was not. Returning to Essex by boat from dinner at the Red Mill at the Basin Harbor Club in Vergennes, Vermont. At the helm, piloting a crew of close friends homeward at the end of a celebratory evening. Late at night. In the dark. Miles from my camera.
Smart phone photos will inevitably be the subject of academic scrutiny some day, an unwieldy proliferation of self referential documentation offering powerful insights into our era for some distant descendent curious about her/his/its anthropologic backstory. But for now I offer up thanks that I so often have this device close at hand when the moment demands recording. A photo. A video. An audio clip…
This Green Mountain moonrise is fuzzy. It is unexceptional its photographic integrity. But it nevertheless possesses a certain energy that wouldn’t have otherwise been captured. I so rarely bring a camera with me any more unless I plan to take photographs. But the most important images appear when unexpected. It’s a law of the universe. Probably.
I realize in these times of introspection, digging deep into the repository of images and documents and artifacts that have accrued since the summer of 2006 when we purchased Rosslyn, that a vast documentary already exists. It is the story of our time in this home. Recorded, by and large, because phone cameras made it convenient and quick and possible to record the myriad moments. Early images are poor quality by today’s standards. But they possess a certain intrigue for their inexact verisimilitude. They leave room for memory and imagination to conjure a crisper story. They are romantic in that sense. Allusions. Illusions.
So many mornings and evenings I’ve gazed at the Green Mountains. So many celestial gazes focused on the moon. Moonrise. Moonset. Full full. Delicate crescent. This curious device we call a smart phone has become a participant, a filter, a scribe, a documentarian. It is rooted in the way we see Rosslyn. The way we see our time at Rosslyn. A fuzzy collage of moonrises. Sunrises. And the interstices where sixteen years of life germinated…
[NB: I’m not 100% certain what or why this post is. Nor why I’m inclined to share it despite the meandering, inconclusive foray. Some how a snapshot of a Green Mountain moonrise evolved into a meditation on fuzzy photography, smartphones, and the peculiar documentary amalgam these omnipresent devices co-create…]
What do you think?