Dance of the Hours
Hours and ours, sharing my photos on World Photo Day Photography Day
I have been searching through a lot of dad’s artwork recently and I came across Dance of the Hours. Dad’s picture Dance of the Hours ( Danza Delle Ore ) is based on act 3 the finale of the opera La Gioconda, composed by Amilcare Ponchielli. Dad actually loved the Disney interpretation of Dance of the Hours in the film Fantasia, it depicts the hours of the day dancing away. Dad also made me learn how to play it on the piano when I was a child and it’s only listhening to it now that I can remember practicing it.
It was really strange I was walking back from The Bund in Shanghai and I just looked up and saw this big clock outside Tiffany and Co and under the big clock was a statue of a man holding the clock on his shoulders. I suddenly found myself thinking and photographing the clock first I was close then I started walking backwards from the image so it became smaller. I had just a 35mm prime lens on the camera and my legs were my zoom.
I remember thinking, about time and the weight of the world on the shoulders of the statue, who I presume was Atlas, the Titan carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders. It sort of reflected my state of mind, I was thinking about time and how quickly it passes, how little time we have, what have I accomplished, how I have messed up in certain areas and how I couldn’t control time or things that were happening, it became a heavy weight on my shoulders, I was in an extremely reflective place.
From the moment we are born, time starts ticking, the expression ticking time bomb really was how things felt in my mind. We have a limited amount of time in our lives, time stops for no man we cannot control it. We can only make the most of the time we have in that moment, we can not change time, once a moment has past it has gone forever we can only do the best thing going forward.
I remember reading a saying: Time is free but is priceless, you can’t own it, but you can’t use it. You can’t keep it, but you can spend it, once you’ve lost it you can never get it back.
Our life is one big fight against time and we can only do our best and make the most of each moment. We have the choice to do whatever we want with our time, you can choose do nothing and there is nothing wrong with that) or you can choose to do something and at the end of the day when we are old we can look back and reflect on how we spent our time and by that stage it’s to late to change anything because the time has passed and we will be left with less time to do things.
I started playing classical guitar at 11 and gave up playing when I was was about 19 years old. Then at 24 I was thinking about starting up again and my excuse at the time was I’m too old. I remember talking to a teacher who was in his 40s and he said: “You are not too old. Ten years from now you will be 34 and then you will wish you took it up at 24. It didn’t make too much sense at the time but as you get older time becomes more precious and you feel an overwhelming desire to do things and make time count.
The most important thing that we have right now is time and that we all have the choice of how to spend it.
It’s strange how a picture can prompt a thought or memory and then a series of other pictures that have no meaning on their own, or to anyone else, can then prompt a memory of an emotion you felt.
This is what I love about photography. Every picture tells a story. I feel blessed to have photography in my life.