The Aperture of Life

Krystina - Burr Ridge, Illinois
Entered on June 1, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

Some people say that they have a “third eye”. Others believe they see the world through their own individual lens. The day I picked up a camera, I found my vision; each transient moment, each fleeting expression became impressed upon my mind. The light, the dark, the shadows in between human emotion, the negative space defining a hand touch, the almost imperceptible twitch of a lip— these are the things my camera allows me to see.

The camera captures these fragments of the human consciousness and I get to hold them up to my own individual light box as they develop in the dark room of my mind. Imagine if people could pull strings of memories from their minds, as a clown pulls a trick silk rope from its mouth – imagine if memories and life changing moments existed on a permanent plane. Imagine if they could be analyzed, and objectified. Their power would be multiplied a million-fold.

This is what happened the day I packed up my bags and left my life behind. I soon realized how meaningful memories and photographs were to me. Three years ago I moved to another state and I spent every nostalgic night on my new bed for hours with old memories staring back at me. My new house was not yet my home. The few photos taken of my previous home were the most treasured things I owned. Realizing this, I began to bring a camera with me everywhere, trying to make up for the lost memories I could no longer create.

The camera had soon become a part built within my head. My mind started to work like a camera as I froze time and captured every beautiful moment with my own eyes. As the photos evolved in film, a split second of this life that was gone forever was now made infinite. I felt empowered, as if I discovered the secret of the world. The admiration was truly overwhelming as each snapshot helped me document my life, which flashed before my eyes.

I took this discovery and made it a part of me. I began to view photography as a way of seeing the world rather than just having it as a hobby. I began to notice the little things in people and nature that made them beautiful. Whether it was anguish, euphoria, destruction or rebirth, I was able to show others and myself the true art of life hidden and revealed by their own eyes. Photography became the reminder of my past and the people and moments I loved were captured and made infinite.

Since I can be seen as a relatively shy person, my mind is always running though my words may not be. I take the camera and let it speak for me. It’s a powerful thing when you realize you can show the world your mind through a photo and make your perspective known to others without words being said. The strong effect the human mind has on people had always fascinated me in regards to their perspective. Each person could look at one picture and see a thousand different versions of the world. Photography grew to change my perspective in life and also to see the beauty in destruction.

I thrive in the focus of this art. In photography, actions are manifested into art; where a smile, a footstep, or a breath, resonate permanently. Where the beauty of candid human motion can be captured, framed, and made permanent. I am passionate about making life immortal. Using the snapshots of the world around me, I believe in recreating the perception of the world.