Sunday, July 09, 2006

Freeze Frame


Tess and I took our niece to a Mariners game yesterday. They were playing the Detriot Tigers, currently the best team in baseball. They remain the best team in baseball.

We were seated in some fairly decent seats, close enough for me to snap some digital photos of Ichiro Suzuki, my favorite Mariners player. Despite the hype, I think Ichiro is a pretty impressive player and person. Regardless if he actually hits the ball, his presence on the field commands respect.

My digital camera has this annoying quality of taking a photo a split second after you click the shutter button. I've learned to compensate by anticipating movement when I shoot a photo and clicking a second early. With baseball players, this was quite a challenge. I had to focus, and then click when I thought the pitcher had released the ball and hope for the best.

I was kind of proud of the above photo because it stopped time an instant before the ball reached Ichiro. What I really like about the photo is that it illustrates very nicely the quantum physics concept I bring up every now and then about how the observer plays an important role in the outcome of any given event. Looking at this photo, you don't know whether Ichiro swings and misses, Ichiro swings and connects, Ichiro doesn't swing and it is a ball, or Ichiro doesn't swing and it is a strike. Of course, Ichiro could also get hit by the ball.

Now if I'd been doing time lapse photographer, you could watch several frames and see the outcome. As it was, I don't remember what happened next because I was focused on this one moment in time. As time dims my memory of the rest of the game and the outcome, this photo will be the reality. And the beauty of the photo is that it shows only potentialities. How perfect is that?
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