Friday, 25 June 2010

Capturing the moment. Or not.

Like me, Glastonbury is celebrating a milestone birthday this year. Well, not Glastonbury itself – as one of the most ancient inhabited sites in Britain that’s reassuringly older than me – but the music festival, which is held every year on Pilton fields. Here’s me as a chubby-cheeked, shiny-faced (hungover to the back teeth) student there, half a lifetime ago in 1990.
Sadly, this is about the only picture I have of that weekend - no exciting shots of bands onstage (there were some great ones), mud (there was lots), or strange people dressed up as trees (a significant number), which got me thinking. These days my daughters can't feed the cat or make a cup of tea without getting photographic evidence for their Facebook pages, but back then I think photography was more the preserve of proud parents and middle-aged tourists than the average Glasto-goer. I guess I like the fact that we were all too taken up with the moment to think about the photo-opportunities, but I do rather regret it now. (Although since I clearly failed to pack either make-up or a mirror perhaps I shouldn't)

So, can anyone make me feel better? What exciting events have you attended and totally failed to record properly?


8 comments:

Catherine J said...

Hey India, Love the Glasto retro. What event have I failed to record for posterity? Great post ... and the answer is - loads. I went to Cartmel last Sunday with Girl One, to eat sticky toffee pudding (it's the law in Cartmel, apparently) and listen to Girl Two sing with her school choir in the Priory (not the rehab clinic - a medieval one). When it came to the final rendition of Hey Jude, Girl One helpfully deactivated my flash, and I stood up in my pew to "snap" (vintage photographic term) a discreet photo - only to discover that there was a message on the screen (where's a view-finder when you need one?) telling me something along the lines of Your Battery is Dead. No photo. Hey ho ...

Nell Dixon said...

Um, pretty well lots of things. I've totally given up on taking a camera to any RNA do or conference because I've been to so many lugging my camera all the way there and forgotten to use it. My first award for Marrying Max - I only have other people's pics - none of my own. I wouldn't have any of the last one either if Mr Nell hadn't been with me.

Michelle Styles said...

It is far more important to live than to have pictures. If you are always behind the camera, you are not living the moment.
Once upon a time we had a video recorder. I tried taking the pictures and then realised that I was missing out on the important things in life. Plus I am a rubbish photographer.
I don't think we ever took a camera to the Cambridge Folk Festival so no evidence -- gruesome or otherwise.

India said...

Oh Catherine, you see now I'm so glad I asked the question because you've made me feel a whole lot better. Especially about the fact that I went all the way up to Scotland for my cousin's wedding-on-the-beach in May, filmed two minutes of her (microscopic in the distance) walking up the beach towards her man, then tried to take a picture of her when she was in range - only to get the message 'Memory Card Full.' No more pictures for the rest of the day, except on my phone, which I couldn't download onto the computer. Just as well I wasn't in Cartmel at the time, or I'd have comfort-eaten my own bodyweight (ie. an awful lot) in sticky toffee pudding.

I'm the same too, Nell - I didn't take a camera to my RNA award lunch either, but figure there's no point when other people are so much better at taking pics anyway! I also like to think that's kind of what husbands are for, too. Remembering that stuff, and knowing what 'Memory card full' means, and what to do about it...

Ooh, we went to the Cambridge Festival one year Michelle - I remember Nanci Griffith played and was wonderful. I quite agree with the living vs recording, and which I'd prefer to do. If I had my wedding day over again I'd definitely dispense with the waste-of-partying-time photographer and spend that hour with the friends I was so longing to talk to. Because there is such a thing as photographic overload too (and that soft-focus garter shot was definitely it.)

Anonymous said...

I forget to take a camera to any (normally) photo-worthy event. I don't think I've taken a picture of beloved son since he was about 9(he's now 13). I'm hopeless. But at least I don't have to waste any brain cells thinking I have to organise my photos.

Shelly

India said...

That, Shelly, is an extremely good point. In the old pre-digital days I used to constantly beat myself up for not being one of those people who stuck photos into neatly labelled albums the moment they came back from the developers. Now at least the pressure is off a little on that front as they just languish in the hidden recesses of the computer anyway, but there is always that feeling that I should be making them into slideshows and setting them to music...

Far easier not to take them in the first place, all things considered. Thanks for making me feel better!

Romy said...

I live in Africa and as you can imagine snow is pretty rare here. Many years ago it actually snowed one cold winter's day and I rushed home to take photos of my house and garden in the snow. Only to find out (after the snow had melted, of course) that there was no film in the camera.

I'm now a dedicated convert to the digital camera, which tells you if it's missing something vital.

India said...

Groaning in sympathy here Romy. When daughter #1 was born we staggered through the first couple of bleary weeks taking pictures, then sent two reels of film off to be developed. When they came back one was completely blank and the other was all double exposures - in his sleep-deprived state He had loaded the same film twice.

Digital, at least, is a little more idiot proof (batteries and memory card notwithstanding!)