When I photographed this duck and it's sad little water supply, my daughter and I were mainly struck by how funny a duck looked flitting about in such a little puddle. After I named the photo it became entirely something else for me. How many of us have had the experience of returning to the location of a childhood memory and being stunned by how different memory and reality can become. You remember the tree house being so much higher in the tree, or you remember the secret cave being much farther from the trail, or the pond was so much larger in your mind's eye.
Memories distort, embellish, and enhance with time. Photographs do not have those magical qualities. Photos are magical in their own right. They can trap places, ideas, feelings, relationships in perfect vivid color for an indefinite amount of time. Our digital photos don't even ever fade.
My childrens' lives are captured in a virtual river of photographs; taken by me, by them, by anyone with a phone and a finger, and posted in perpetuity online. I imagine a multi colored chem trail of their past streaming out behind them.
Will our compulsively photographed pasts be a source of new human pleasure or a loss of the magical human memory machine with its unpredictable distortions, grand embellishments, and definite enhancements? I personally like remembering the pond as a vast blue expanse where a duck can swim forever.