It is estimated that there have been about 3.8 trillion pictures taken, ever.
In the world we live in today, if you don’t have a picture, it didn’t happen. But sometimes, for whatever reason, you can’t take a picture. Maybe your phone is dead, maybe you don’t have a camera, maybe it’s an inappropriate time to take pictures, or maybe, for whatever reason, taking a picture of a moment might put you in danger in some way.
So I was delighted to come across this site a few weeks ago, unphotographable. The creator of the website, Michael David Murphy, posts short descriptions of scenes that were for one reason or another, unphotographable, but were still important enough that somebody would like to remember them.
Some of the posts are so detailed and descriptive that you can actually watch the scene unfold in your head. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then maybe a thousand words is just as good as a picture.
Here are some examples:
“This is a picture I did not take of a woman with a baby in her arms and a burping towel on her shoulder, walking up to the side of a vacant, foreclosed home in the middle of a neighborhood hit hard by mortgage fraud, looking up and down the street before turning-on the outdoor spigot at the corner of the house to take a drink with a cupped hand, and then, after wetting the towel, she began to carefully wash her newborn’s feet.”
“This is a picture I did not take of a man in Atlanta wearing a yellow Martin Luther King “I Have a Dream” t-shirt while selling drugs beneath the freeway, half a mile down the street from the house where Dr. King was born.”