This post is also available in: Dutch.
I wiggled my toes in the sand and marveled at the colorful spectacle on the horizon. A beautiful Curaçao sunset at the beach. There are few things in life as enchanting as a sunset. Especially here on the island, where every night around seven p.m. you can see the sun lower into the ocean like an orange beach ball, as to symbolize the closing time of the beach. If you can make the time to watch a sunset at the end of your day, it is almost without exception the highlight of that day. I could tell that it was exceptionally beautiful, not only by the sunset itself, but by the people around me as well.
The bald photographer
Right where the water hits the beach, a group of silent people had gathered, armed with expensive photo cameras and hyper modern smartphones. They were busy pointing the lenses in the right direction, clicking away frantically to capture the moment in eternity. My attention was drawn by a bald man, who hid his face skillfully behind an expensive DSLR camera. While shooting pictures he moved towards the ocean, checking the ground below in between as to avoid wet feet. After every click he carefully inspected the small screen on his camera to check the results. Satisfactory results, as the facial expression of the photographer revealed.
Photography is almost as beautiful as a sunset, although the two can hardly be compared to one another. After all, one is a natural phenomenon, whereas the other is a human invention to eternalize memories. By taking pictures we can revisit our most favorite moments and, moreover, share them with whoever is interested. And yet even photography has a downside, a trap that I too have walked in more often than I care to admit. The last person I saw walking in the trap was the bald photographer at the beach. Standing at the seaside, his eyes fixated on the screen of his camera, as if the sunset was even more beautiful at a size of three by five centimeters. The moment, complete with the calm sea and the cool breeze, was lost on him. However beautiful that picture will end up looking on the wall, it will always be a picture of a night where he never really saw the sun go down.
Real life resolution
Capturing memories is a beautiful thing, but you should beware that you are not capturing a memory of a moment you are missing while it happens, because you are too busy capturing it. Does everyone still follow? What I’m trying to say is actually quite simple: look, listen, smell, feel, admire, enjoy and take some photos. In that order. And when you look at the picture afterwards, you’ll relive the moment, in real life resolution.
The bald man left the beach and rejoined his waiting wife, satisfied with his pictures and probably his new desktop background. I felt happy for him. After all, a sunset this beautiful must have had beautiful pictures as a result. I wiggled my toes in the sand once more and decided to leave my camera in my bag. This evening I just wanted to look, smell, listen, feel, admire and enjoy. In that order.