Photography: Aren’t we forgetting something?

Dear Friend of my Heart,

Do you still have a sense of wonder for photographs?

The capturing of a moment in an image is, in my understanding, the tip of the iceberg. As people engaged in the process of photographing instances of worlding, we are always at the risk of forgetting to see. It’s something like the poet forgetting her own blossoming emotions to fulfill pedagogical prescriptions of the academy and the ubiquitous beats of the trend. For me the moment of capturing happens almost as if it is outside of time but very deeply involved with the movements happening within time. The photograph is a very strange thing. Do you remember that? We are so inescapably surrounded by the photograph and almost always in possession of the equipment to photograph that it has lost its strangeness, and well… the aura. This is not an apology or a looking back at the golden age of photography when it was still young. I do not wish to say to you anything as inexcusably emotional as those were the days… but I feel like for anything to start making sense again it has to become unknown. A photograph does not have to be about visibility… it could be about that which isn’t visible… or that which hides in the shadows… I do have the disturbing and blinding instance of a flash in my mind when I feel for the shadows…

It helps me understand photography to just see the world… to look at that one leaf lost in the thick foliage… without the tension of capturing everything that I see…

this letter I will leave without an image…

what does a photograph mean to you? I know it is even too general a question… like what does a song mean to you… every song means something different to you, I presume… but what does it mean to take a picture, or to look at one…

Eager to hear from you.

Yours in curiosity,
Prashant Nawani


  1. I think back to when I was half crazy and couldn’t speak and my sister was having her bridal shower. For a gift I brought a book of photographing techniques because even though neither one of us has ever been much into the art. Just on that day while looking for the right gift, I saw so much love in the way a subject’s soul can be illumined by the focus of the photographer. I saw such a connection to matrimony and symbiotic relationship and it was my hope that she, they, would understand the strange gift:)

    1. this memory is, to say the least, heart warming, Amaya. That kind of a relationship with a book of photographic techniques is very fresh to me and beautifully so. If they did understand your special gift, it must’ve been most poetic.
      I am not sure if I have been able to find love in my focus as a photographer, but it might be because I’m not paying attention to the tenderness in my own gaze. I will reflect upon this more. Thank you.

  2. How you inspire thoughts dear Prashant! Ah, my photographs are memory thumbnails; prompts that if ever I beging to forget a moment, time or emotion I can conjure them with a mere glimpse. Do you have an Instagram account I wonder?

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