Shutter speeds

"Confident of graduating?"

With that, Dexter joined the line of people who've asked me about graduation, and other related questions. If you're a relative or someone remotely familiar, you'll probably ask me about the prospect of graduating on time. If you're a classmate of mine, you'll probably ask me about the progress of our thesis, or the progress of our plans to defer. But, with the idea of things flying so fast in a setting like ours, nobody has bothered to ask about the moments I'd probably cherish. What will you prefer to remember?

Two days ago, two of my classmates in world history class wondered why I constantly kept on taking photos, even in the middle of a class report. "I wanted to document every day of my last term in school," I said. It's pretty similar to what Gaille has been doing, although my specialty would be candid photos, of course, and I don't know whether she has kept up with her more public vow.

Thus, if you kept looking at the photos I have been uploading, you'll realize that they're mostly random snapshots that get people more annoyed than amazed. And, yes, there's almost no reference to the relationships I form. No connections. Just events.

I'm not actually the type of guy who likes the idea of standing beside people, taking out the camera, and pointing it at the newly-formed pair. I know, I've always appreciated the idea of group photos, especially if they are fairly intimate (in the sense that you'll have more photo space), but somehow me doing it feels awkward. I did that during the retreat, and ended up having only five. In previous occasions I end up struggling more with how I look than with who I am actually with. Maybe it's just not made for me, I thought. It's all about the moments, not the relationships.

Isn't it fascinating. People might not notice it, but we have the ability to preserve a moment in time with a simple press of a button. We might know it as those numbers on a camera - shutter speed, aperture, film ISO - but regardless of how it turns out, either the moment you press that button, or the moment you get the film out and weave some magic in the dark, you're still working with a moment in someone's life. Probably the most humiliating, or the most amazing, but it's still preserved for posterity.

Then again, it's just moments you preserve. I can tell the story behind a particular photo, but it's harder to explain the intricacies of the complicated relationships that power the moment. That aspect requires a strong memory, a lot of explanations, and a certain sense of confidence, for you to be able to say such things. Either that, or you prefer to forget why something is - or was - very important to you. So happens that I'd rather remember everything, down to the last detail.

Right now, I can only write about how people flip their hair, or how they recite in class, or how they manage to get you do a favor for them even if you don't want to. And maybe soon, those photos will become just mere studies in composition, without anything to back them up. But that's how things are, and that's how things have always been: just a series of candid photographs. Nothing personal.

I only have roughly a month left if I want to remember certain things. The funny thing with these intricacies, though, is that they can render you unable to do stuff that you normally do, or that you should be doing. The closest I probably got was a group photo, but where's the story in that? It's just a gathering, nothing more. I want to continue the story, even if it's futile to remain doing so. And it all starts with one press of a button, and two smiles for posterity, even if it will never happen...

And your responses...

I can so relate. Specially with the first paragraph.

"Confident of graduating?"

Typical of any graduating Lasallian. (Lasallite? Whatever. Haha.)

Be well, Niko!

Blogger Zayin3/20/2008     

so, what will YOU prefer to remember? is there really just one moment, or better yet, just one person?

you'll get that elusive picture, i'm sure. it's not ONLY one month; it's STILL one month. if there's anything i know about you, apart from you're being er.. you know what.. you're one evil genius, so you'll think of a way to get that. right? XD

Blogger Dexter3/20/2008     

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