As a 10 year old, I visited Yellowstone National Park with my aunt and uncle. They had given me a Kodak Disc camera the previous Christmas and I spent the days at Yellowstone snapping photos of anything and everything I saw. We stopped by the road one day because there was a large gathering and this usually meant wild life. By day 5 the rest of the family were tiring of this scene, as It had played out dozens of times since we first entered the park. Not me! As we rolled to a roadside pause, I jumped out of the car. Thumbing a new disc into my camera I made my way through the crowd. Head down concentrating on the camera I suddenly noticed that I was all alone... then I saw the buffalo. I'm sure that it was 30 yards away, but it felt like 3 yards and it was coming right at me. I turned and ran. As park visitors fell like dominos toward their cars my family watched everything happen and had the car door open and waiting. We sped off as soon as I landed in the backseat. I remember sitting there with my heart thundering in my chest.
Back at home, I was anxious to develop the film from our vacation. I bugged my mom about it until she relented and took 10 discs of film to be processed. Thumbing through the prints I was struck by the beauty of the park and the pride of capturing these memories for my family. It was then that I saw the picture. It was a simple photo of a very blurry buffalo. My finger had tightened on the button as I turned to flee from the buffalo. Sitting there in the safety of my living room... heart began to thunder again. That photo, printed on paper and held with my tiny fingers took me right back to that moment. I felt like I was there.
My ten year old mind spent a lot of time thinking about all that had happened. How could a photo scare me? How could it take me back to a moment that had passed weeks ago? It was then and there that I realized the true value of a photograph. Some of them transport you back to a moment so vividly that you almost relive the scene in the photograph. Touchable memories that never fade.