Can a camera truly capture a moment in time?

As time continually marches onward, burning up moments without respite, it gives greater weight to some than to others. It could be said that some moments are of more moment than others and it is those moments, heavy with history, that we all want to see. Undoubtedly the myriad of meaningless, ordinary moments that whizz past unnoticed can go unrecorded without much remorse, but those important moments are to a great degree measured by the images that we make of them.

Great artists purposely chose particular moments in great sagas and stories from history in order to communicate what the events that they had portrayed actually meant to their intended viewers. Photographs have maintained this tradition and enhanced it with the authenticity of the subject. No longer do we view the images that capture the great moments of humanity through the eyes of an artist, now we see an image of the moment as it is happening. The taking of the photograph has become a part of the moment forever, and the fact that there is a photographic record of the moment is one of the qualities that define that particular moment.

I think that this holds true on even a great scale. It can hardly be denied that the famous photograph of the mushroom cloud ascending over Hiroshima captures a moment in history and communicates the importance of the moment of 8:16 am on August 6 1945 when it was taken. Can a photograph tell the story of the moment better than the shot of Neil Armstrong standing on the moon, reflecting an image of his co-pilot Buzz Aldrin and their craft in the visor of his space suit helmet with the lunar plain behind him? The entire story of how we had realized our oldest dream was legible enough for Life to use for their Special Edition cover.

Photographs actually capture the quality of those decisive moments better than any written description ever can. The eyes ability to discern so much from the look on someone’s face, their posture makes a picture so much more legible than a second hand account, it makes the viewer an eyewitness and to a certain extent he has entered into the moment himself.


About dgmattichakjr

D G Mattichak jr was born in 1963 in Syracuse New York and immigrated to Melbourne Australia with his family in 1972. He was educated in one of Melbourne’s exclusive private schools before studying art at Preston Technical College. D G Mattichak jr has been a student of the occult arts since the early 1980s and has become well known in Australian magickal circles and, in recent years, around the world due to a string of essays on a variety of occult subjects . He discovered the “key to the order & value of the English alphabet” from Aleister Crowley’s Book of the Law in 1983 and has since used this English Qabalah to unlock the secrets of Thelemite magick. Success in these methods admitted him to the highest levels of attainment in various Hermetic disciplines and until recently he has been passing on his knowledge to private students, many of whom have gone on to become notable occultists in their own right. After almost three decades of study and development D G Mattichak jr has finally been able to distil his knowledge of magick and Thelema into a book- A Comment on the Verses of the Book of the Law, the first in a planned series of books on Hermeticism and Thelemite magick, revealing, for the first time in over a century, the secrets of magick that have been hidden in Crowley’s magnum opus, the Book of the Law. D G Mattichak jr currently lives in Melbourne Australia with his artist wife Michelle and their two cats. He has had a long career as an al a carte chef in Melbourne’s vibrant hospitality scene and now spends his time writing blogs on cooking, writing and, in the guise of Master Ankh af na Khonsu, about magick. He is also one of the founding members of the Mt Franklin Annual Pagan Gathering and regularly contributes to its official website as both an administrator and as an author. D G Mattichak jr’s first book Loot was released in 2009. His books are available through at G Mattichak&x=13&y=20 .
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