I was looking at a favourite blog and there was a series of photographs of tourists. It was such a clever set of pictures of all these people snapping away, and I wondered how many of them were taking photos which were original or different or showed anything other than what they could have bought on a post card. Not that there is anything wrong at all with doing that, or doing both! It made me think of the number of times I have visited places, with my camera, and looked at other people taking photos. So many people take the same views, without seeming to consider taking a photograph from a different angle, or a picture of something unusual.

I’ve been thinking about this, and thinking about the photos I took recently, and also thinking about the pictures I didn’t take, but which are memories from having just looked at something. We went to the Canadian memorial at Vimy Ridge; I was overawed by the place, not just thoughts of the thousands of men who had suffered and died fighting for control of this strategic escarpment, but the soaring monument, towering into the sky. I took photos of it, lots of photos, but none of them compare to the towering white limestone, carved from a single piece of stone and taking eleven years to make. My memories give me the pictures to remember, and my memory gives me the sounds of the wind and the birds, and the smell of the rain in the air.Vimy (9)

Two pylons stand 120 feet high representing Canada and France; one pylon has a carving of the maple leaf for Canada, the other has the French fleur-de-lis signifying the shared  sorrow and sacrifice of war.Vimy (19)This is one of two reclining figures representing The Mourning Parents; on either side of the steps, they honour the mourning mothers and fathers of Canada’s war dead.

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