What is a photograph? Why do we take photographs?

“Where did yesterday go?” – Someone once asked me. Where did it go? It happened, but where is it? Maybe photos are the only place it can be, as time has no past or future, only present here and now, and photos exist within a space we can touch and smell.

All we lived is still alive within us, in the only place it can exist: our memory. Whilst it lives a healthy life, so does our essence. Our memory is all we have, it’s what we are. Without it we are nothing but a body with an absent mind. We become alive by remembering the things we did and with whom we did them with and also by sharing this memory with others.

There is magic when opening up a photo album to read and share the story of life.

No. Not those holiday pictures. Rather that stone we tripped on, whist walking somewhere, which made us stop and talk to someone. We learnt something that day, even if we don’t know what that is. Have you noticed we can never be too full of life? We can only be empty. Our space within is infinite. Yet, we are insignificant.

So, I take photos. And store them. And date them. But my feelings towards taking photos has also changed with time and experience, and also after seeing millions of photographs of pure nothingness, whilst working at a photo lab. I realise one must also find a balance between documenting life and living it. And most of all not hold on to it, so much that we loose the present and only moment.

I began to learn to let it go… Let it all go. I used to be very frustrated if I lost a photograph dear to me. Now I realise there is nothing to be frustrated about. For even without a photo, I have lived.

August, 2006

Photos: By Pedro Pimentel at North of Portugal – Viana do Castelo and Vila Praia de Âncora

RIba de Ancora  15605

2 replies
  1. pedropimentel
    pedropimentel says:

    Uow!!! Blown away! 🙂 Very well said. Amazing how our concept of things evolves with time and age.

    Funny enough have been thinking how much I would love to make “Ser no Tempo” – Revision 2! And who knows… Maybe we could pull something really amazing as your first paragraph hits the nail in the head spot on! 🙂 Don’t know how or when… But maybe one day. Think about that.

    P.S. – “spelling mistake at “things we did and with whom with did them ” second with should be we!


  2. elisadelima
    elisadelima says:

    Thank you! Mistake/typo corrected! Always better to have 2 pair of eyes 🙂 I would love to pull out something together for your idea. Let’s try “one day” 🙂 xxx


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