Thursday, March 01, 2007

Photographs taken by the mind's eye

Michael David Murphy is a talented photographer who displays some of his photographs here. He also displays photographs he did not take at a stark, minimalist site he calls Unphotographable. There's a brief explanation and a link to a CBC radio interview on this page. Here's an example, which he calls "Paso Robles Cutoff."
This is a picture I did not take of the sound a rental car makes early in the morning when it passes a long line of tractor trailers slowly pulling over for the night on the Paso Robles cutoff, the moon high and halved, Orion low in the sky and moody through fog, AM radio pulling-in callers obsessed with the supernatural and shadow people, the interior smelling like bags of coffee beans squirreled away in a box in the back, car filled to the brim with everything I own, and despite months of planning, I still couldn't picture how it would feel to drive away and toward at the same time, the road as wide open as the sky, both ahead and always ahead as I drive down one and toward another but feel like I'm going through both in a way that reminds me it's been far too long.
He calls these brief paragraphs unphotographable. I call them prose poems. They're also reminders that memory is still the best point-and-shoot imaging device there's ever been. Don't leave home without it.

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