Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Capturing A Moment

Who else would count down the days until vacation? We can all relate to that feeling of impatience as the final hours before departure ticked away. As a kid, the highlight of my year was always family road trips. Packing up the van and heading south were some of my fondest memories growing up. Nothing else could seem to replicate that same feeling of excitement and enjoyment like a family vacation. To remember that experience, my mother would take countless pictures of everything and anything our family did on our vacations.

Pictures are some of the most unique items ever created by humans. Through the miracle of technology, we can capture a single moment in time and view it long after that moment has passed. People take pictures of everything in life. From small moments spent with friends to big milestones like weddings and graduations, people capture the moments that mean the most to them. Recently, I have become obsessed with Polaroids and instant photography. Just like family vacations, nothing beats the feeling of clicking a button and watching as the picture develops in your hand. When helping my grandparents clean out their attic, we found their original Polaroid camera from the 1970s. After dusting it off and taking a look through the lens, I knew I had to see if it still worked. Four days and an Amazon order later, a shipment arrived with a single package of black and white film. Inserting the film, adjusting the exposure, and pressing the button felt almost like a historic moment.

Surprisingly, the camera actually worked. Not surprisingly, the picture didn’t develop as planned. Unlike the cameras on our phones, you can’t make changes to a Polaroid. Once that picture is taken and it fully develops, you are stuck with the result. As you can imagine, my first attempt at using the camera illustrated that very point. Despite the less than perfect quality, the Polaroid made me appreciate the actual moment I was capturing. In life, we can’t edit the quality of a moment after it happens. The time spent with friends or a big life experience can’t be changed once the experience has passed. Just like a Polaroid picture, we are stuck with the results of our actions no matter how it develops. What makes me appreciate this is knowing we have the power to make that moment count. We have the power to live in that moment and to capture the best it has to offer. If we are given only one chance and one chance only, it's up to us to turn that moment into the memory we want to capture.

As my camera skills hopefully continue to improve, I encourage you to live in the moment. The next time you’re taking that family vacation or you’re going through a big life experience, think of what that moment would look like as a Polaroid picture. Make it count… appreciate the time you have… and turn that moment into the memory you want to remember. You’ll never want to make any changes.

Warm Wishes,

Derick Williams

Indiana FFA State Reporter

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