Seize the Moment

Fog Silhouettes. Photo by Alina Oswald.

Carpe Diem

The full version of the Latin phrase is, actually, “Carpe diem quam minimum credula postero,” meaning “Seize the day, trusting as little as possible in the future.”

Moon rises over the island of Manhattan. Photo by Alina Oswald.
NYC Moonrise. Photo by Alina Oswald.

Recent events in my life have reminded me of the importance of seizing the moment, the day, of living each moment to the fullest, because, before we know it, that moment is gone, never to return. While we can’t actually turn back time or stop time or travel back in time, at least not yet, we can create memories of our journey through time.

In particular as photographers, we get to capture moments, like keepsakes, for ourselves and for those who come after us.

So, how exactly do we seize the moment in photography? What moments are worth…seizing? What moments or what images capturing these moments fall into that “carpe diem” category?

A few ideas:

– Capture fleeting moments

– Capture significant moments

I captured the image posted below in the early hours of January 31, 2018. The blood, blue super-moon, barely above the Jersey horizon, partially covered by the earth’s shadow. The lunar eclipse had begun. Right next to it, I caught a glimpse of the rising sun reflected in a nearby building.

January 31, 2018: lunar eclipse begins as the blood, blue super moon starts setting over Jersey City.

– Capture the small things in life that define our everyday existence

– Capture unexpected moments; photograph something or someone (in particular a loved one) that won’t be around for much longer; no one is

– Or photograph something truly unique, something that we can witness only once (or a handful of times, if we’re lucky) in our lifetime

Brocken Spectre. The optical illusion known as Brocken Spectre or Brockengespenst observed from the top of Haleakala Summit, in Maui, Hawaii. Photo by Alina Oswald.

– Try to capture your own interpretation of “carpe diem.” What does “carpe diem” mean to you? Is it getting lost in a moment watching the sunrise or sunset, a rainbow, a storm? Is it getting lost in a moment while reading a book, listening to music, or creating your own art? Or perhaps catching up with a loved one?

The setting sun peeks through a rock formation. Grand Canyon. Photo by Alina Oswald.

Living in the moment, at least once in a while, trying to capture “the moment” and save it for posterity allows us not only to live our lives and give it a sense, a meaning, but also to show future generations that we were once, here.

Carpe diem!

And as always, thanks for stopping by!

Alina Oswald

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