What is it about a photo that evokes a different kind of emotion than a memory?

Masao Yamamoto a Japanese photographer renowned for his tiny photos said that his small photos were to be like memories, and that the best format would be ones that can be held in the hollow of the hand. "If we can hold the photo in our hand, we can hold a memory in our hand. A little like when we keep a family photo with us.”

Masao’s perspective tells us that memory itself isn’t quite enough to evoke the strong sense of emotion you feel from a physical picture.

It’s interesting to ponder what it is about a photo that evokes a different kind of emotion than that of a memory.

Two perspectives:

"Once you learn to care, you can record images with your mind or on film. There is no difference between the two.” Anon

“In photography there is a reality so subtle that it becomes more real than reality.” Alfred Stieglitz

Do we pay attention to the myriad of thoughts going through our mind when we observe a picture? Could it be that the reflection alone offers a sense of clarity that we struggle to reach by memory alone?

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