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Tears in the Rain

A favourite quote from a movie I’ve never seen is the “tears in the rain” monologue from Blade Runner (1982): “… moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain”. In a general sense, it means that memories of any moment, sooner or later will fail to survive the effects of time, subsequent experience, and death of the witness. Then, those moments might never have happened.

What has this quote to do with photography? Consider the idiom that “a picture is worth a thousand words”. Wrong! Many photographs distract from the intended meaning of messages delivered in words. In contrast, the “tears” monologue explains the significance of billions of photographs in the simplest possible way. These photographs are significant because they prolong memories of given moments. These moments might be events, scenes or states considered noteworthy, or fictional events originating from a photographer’s imagination. These moments might survive for minutes, years, or centuries but, without photographic or likewise representation, their eventual erasure is a given.

The following images are visual memories of moments now gone forever. In that regard, they illustrate the meaning of the monologue. Moreover, without this photographer seeking pictures at that place and time, their very existence would likely pass unnoticed, like tears in the rain.
Cheers, Mike





Grand Portage, Minnesota











Grand Marais, Minnesota











Chippewa Park, Thunder Bay, Ontario











Chippewa Park, Thunder Bay, Ontario








Mike
 
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Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
A favourite quote from a movie I’ve never seen is the “tears in the rain” monologue from Blade Runner (1982): “… moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain”. In a general sense, it means that memories of any moment, sooner or later will fail to survive the effects of time, subsequent experience, and death of the witness. Then, those moments might never have happened.
Mike,

Thanks for the eductation and insight! I guess I totally missed this lesson from Bladerunner each of the 4 times I saw it!

......These moments might survive for minutes, years, or centuries but, without photographic or likewise representation, their eventual erasure is a given.


What a superb vision. I wondered what lens you had used. My widest lens right now is just 18mm!








Grand Portage, Minnesota






I love all the new pictures you share, but have to show special respect for this one!



What a fabulous New Years Day gift for us all!



Asher
 
Mike,

Thanks for the eductation and insight! I guess I totally missed this lesson from Bladerunner each of the 4 times I saw it!


What a superb vision. I wondered what lens you had used. My widest lens right now is just 18mm!


Grand Portage, Minnesota



I love all the new pictures you share, but have to show special respect for this one!


What a fabulous New Years Day gift for us all!


Asher
Thanks Asher. The quote was new to me, so I may have interpreted it a bit more widely than in the movie. However, from what I’ve read, the movie’s Director envisioned a wider message than the money-makers allowed. Regardless, I think the message here is consistent with the words. The movie was clearly a huge success given the many sequels.

The lens for the first two pictures was not wide but a Nikkor 85mm f=1.4. The last two pictures were with a different camera.

Cheers, Mike
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Thanks Asher. The quote was new to me, so I may have interpreted it a bit more widely than in the movie. However, from what I’ve read, the movie’s Director envisioned a wider message than the money-makers allowed. Regardless, I think the message here is consistent with the words. The movie was clearly a huge success given the many sequels.

The lens for the first two pictures was not wide but a Nikkor 85mm f=1.4. The last two pictures were with a different camera.

Cheers, Mike
Mike,

Glad that the director's thoughts managed to survive the economics. The movie itself could have been a play staged in the Coliseum in Rome and there would indeed have been no record.

Perhaps writing, photography and film gives death the finger!

Surprised such a long lens was used! The curves in the waves gives the impression of wide angle usual compression!

Wonderful just the way you captured it!

Asher
 
Mike,

Glad that the director's thoughts managed to survive the economics. The movie itself could have been a play staged in the Coliseum in Rome and there would indeed have been no record.

Perhaps writing, photography and film gives death the finger!

Surprised such a long lens was used! The curves in the waves gives the impression of wide angle usual compression!

Wonderful just the way you captured it!

Asher
Whoops! I was wrong about the camera and lens for the first photo. My Nikon was in the car when we parked for a canine pee stop, so the first photo was with a carry everywhere Canon EOS M and a 22mm F=2.0 pancake lens. That gives a fullframe equivalent of about 35mm, consistent with your observation about wide angle compression. Sorry about that. Cheers, Mike
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Whoops! I was wrong about the camera and lens for the first photo. My Nikon was in the car when we parked for a canine pee stop, so the first photo was with a carry everywhere Canon EOS M and a 22mm F=2.0 pancake lens. That gives a fullframe equivalent of about 35mm, consistent with your observation about wide angle compression. Sorry about that. Cheers, Mike

I was rsally wondering about that curved water effect. I think that it is partly really!

Asher
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
.............




The following images are visual memories of moments now gone forever. In that regard, they illustrate the meaning of the monologue. Moreover, without this photographer seeking pictures at that place and time, their very existence would likely pass unnoticed, like tears in the rain.
Cheers, Mike




Grand Portage, Minnesota











Grand Marais, Minnesota











Chippewa Park, Thunder Bay, Ontario











Chippewa Park, Thunder Bay, Ontario








Mike,



I realize now some common aspect of these pictures. They all require us to look from what's close by to then have the eye go ahead, straight as an arrow, to examine what's ahead in the distance.

This follows the master metaphor of all language, of every culture, seeing "Life as a journey!"

I now understand thius collection. That is the glue holding them together.


Asher
 
Grand Portage, Minnesota











Grand Marais, Minnesota











Chippewa Park, Thunder Bay, Ontario











Chippewa Park, Thunder Bay, Ontario








Mike,



I realize now some common aspect of these pictures. They all require us to look from what's close by to then have the eye go ahead, straight as an arrow, to examine what's ahead in the distance.

This follows the master metaphor of all language, of every culture, seeing "Life as a journey!"

I now understand thius collection. That is the glue holding them together.


Asher
Right! If we journey in a linear fashion, the foreground becomes lost from view, part of an unobserved background. And yet, and yet.... The supernova phenomenen informs us that explosions of stars millions of years before our species existed are observable today. The information gathered from observation of these long ago moments informs astrophysicists about the development of our universe, and might even clarify our understanding about cyclical changes within our bodies. So maybe nothing disappears forever with the passage of time. Maybe our memory of an event depends mainly on our ability to distinguish between tears and rain at that particular moment within a space-time matrix. I wonder what a replicant in Blade Runner would think about that! Cheers, Mike.
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Right! If we journey in a linear fashion, the foreground becomes lost from view, part of an unobserved background. And yet, and yet.... The supernova phenomenen informs us that explosions of stars millions of years before our species existed are observable today. The information gathered from observation of these long ago moments informs astrophysicists about the development of our universe, and might even clarify our understanding about cyclical changes within our bodies. So maybe nothing disappears forever with the passage of time. Maybe our memory of an event depends mainly on our ability to distinguish between tears and rain at that particular moment within a space-time matrix. I wonder what a replicant in Blade Runner would think about that! Cheers, Mike.
I wonder about the replicant in Blade Runner meeting the Handmaiden in the Handmaiden's Tale!

But that is looking way forward!


Asher
 

Doug Kerr

Active member
Mike, Asher,

Asher Kelman said:
I realize now some common aspect of these pictures. They all require us to look from what's close by to then have the eye go ahead, straight as an arrow, to examine what's ahead in the distance.

This follows the master metaphor of all language, of every culture, seeing "Life as a journey!"

I now understand thius collection. That is the glue holding them together.

Asher
Right! If we journey in a linear fashion, the foreground becomes lost from view, part of an unobserved background. And yet, and yet.... The supernova phenomenen informs us that explosions of stars millions of years before our species existed are observable today. The information gathered from observation of these long ago moments informs astrophysicists about the development of our universe, and might even clarify our understanding about cyclical changes within our bodies. So maybe nothing disappears forever with the passage of time. Maybe our memory of an event depends mainly on our ability to distinguish between tears and rain at that particular moment within a space-time matrix. I wonder what a replicant in Blade Runner would think about that! Cheers, Mike.
All well said!

Best regards,

Doug
 
Mike, Asher,


All well said!

Best regards,

Doug
Thank you, Doug. Here’s another photo that fits a Tears in the Rain metaphor and retains consistency with Asher’s metaphor of a Life Journey.

Tears in the Rain refers to moments lost in time. Lost moments considered in the following photo happened during the completion of a major literary work toward the end of the ‘beat’ era in the 20th century. The author of the work is Robert M. Persig. His book is Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (known as ZAMM by some readers), which after rejection by 121 other publishers sold over five million copies worldwide, after publication in 1974. It’s a book claimed to be the most widely read philosophic text ever written. It's known by every Baby Boomer with literary interests but by fewer readers from subsequent generations. It describes philosophical and personal musings by Persig on a motorcycle journey from Minneapolis to California with his son. The book attempts to integrate ideas from scientific and spiritual perspectives about how to pursue a good life. It raised Persig to no less high a cultural pedestal than those occupied by Jack Kerouac and other prominent members of the ‘beat’ generation.

Completion of ZAMM occurred in Two Harbours, Minnesota. Persig ensconced himself in a camper, in the deserted Burlington Bay campground, on the shores of Lake Superior, in the middle of winter, to write the final five chapters. He wanted to finish the book with no distractions.

Nowadays, we stop for lunch or supper in Two Harbours when traveling several times a year for holiday breaks in Duluth and Superior, which are 30 minutes further south. During these stops, I always ask local people if they know that Persig lived in their town for a while. Nobody ever answered affirmatively. His visit there is a forgotten moment in history.

So, on our last trip through Two Harbours, a couple of week ago, I decided to photograph a moment that Persig might have experienced in the winter of 1972-3. The time was near dusk and the temperature about -30C (-22F), so I couldn’t hang about. Within a couple of hundred yards of where Persig parked his camper, I got a good shot of a Laker Boat just off the shore. Persig must surely have gazed at a similar boat from a similar position at a similar time of day 45 years ago, during a break from writing. Maybe the cold winter weather then produced similar clouds of ice fog. Moreover, because photos from his motorcycle trip are on the Internet, he obviously enjoyed photography. Maybe he took photos of Laker Boats at Two Harbours, too. Cheers, Mike

Zen and the Art of Laker Boat Photography

 
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Edward Bussa

New member
I hadn't even seen your words. See above for my reaction to those.

Your quote and comment reminded me about a show I'm watching, Altered Carbon. A visually stunning montage that echos Blade Runner themes and modernizes them successfully. Each episode is 1 hr. long and I find it to be like eating rich Chocolate cake. I can only watch a limited amount before I need to take a break but I feel like I will definitely do that again and again.

Thanks for the thoughts. I began pondering how I don't remember a world that wasn't recorded. I had a colleague tell me in 2002 that one day people would wear a camera on their shirt and it would record every frame of their lives. Welcome to 2020.
 

Doug Kerr

Active member
Hi, Michael,
Thank you, Doug. Here’s another photo that fits a Tears in the Rain metaphor and retains consistency with Asher’s metaphor of a Life Journey.

<snip>

So, on our last trip through Two Harbours, a couple of week ago, I decided to photograph a moment that Persig might have experienced in the winter of 1972-3. The time was near dusk and the temperature about -30C (-22F), so I couldn’t hang about. Within a couple of hundred yards of where Persig parked his camper, I got a good shot of a Laker Boat just off the shore. Persig must surely have gazed at a similar boat from a similar position at a similar time of day 45 years ago, during a break from writing. Maybe the cold winter weather then produced similar clouds of ice fog. Moreover, because photos from his motorcycle trip are on the Internet, he obviously enjoyed photography. Maybe he took photos of Laker Boats at Two Harbours, too.
Another beautiful work, really stunning.

It especially resonates with me as I grew up in Cleveland, and lake freighters were an important part of our milieu. One of my best chums from high school days and after was from a family of lake sailors. His father had been master of a lake boat (as we would say on the southern shores!), and his older brother was the First Mate of the Clarence B. Randle. My friend him used to work on lake boats during the summer when he was in high school.

Thanks.

Best regards,

Doug
 
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