Memories of moments that pass

Humans criss-cross this Earth while generating trillions of events, simultaneously. Then, at lightening speed, everything passes, and is gone forever. You cannot be in more than one place at a time. Therefore, unless you were there, you will never know what took place.

As a photographer, my job is to slow things down and freeze them in time. I set out to capture moments — very small moments, so that I can bring you a snapshot of what happened, when you weren’t looking.

On this site, I exhibit a small collection of my observations — each of which represents 100th of a second in time. This means that for every 100 photos that I show you, I am sharing but one second’s worth of activity that took place on this tumultuous planet of ours.

We photographers try to stop the world. We attempt to chronicle the events as we see them. With a sense of urgency, we endeavour to immortalise perishable beauty. A flower is an example of perishable beauty. It blooms for only a few days, and then it surrenders to the very soil that gave it life. If a photographer arrives on the scene, the rose can be framed for posterity, so that, long after it has bowed out of the dance of creation, we can marvel at its intricacy.

We lead such hectic and distracted lives. For this reason, I try to capture the inspiring events, so that you can honour, as I do, the miraculous hand of God. Indeed, I am grateful that I am able to bring to you the memories of moments that pass.

My name is Mario El Khoury. My friends know me as ‘Mario K’. Since the age of fourteen, I have been passionate about photography. I am now sixteen years old, and I live in Jeddah in Saudi Arabia. My family is from Lebanon, and we travel the world at every opportunity. I am still at school, and I belong to photography groups whose members trek out every now and then, in search of beauty and mystery.

Photography is indeed an art. However, although I try to hone my artistry, I do not see myself as a technician. The mechanical aspects of photography must be mastered painstakingly, and then relinquished immediately. In my opinion, a good photographer ought to be invisible. The camera should not be allowed to boast. You, the viewer, must never ‘see the photo’. Rather, you are to be drawn to the frame and given a peek into a window in order to re-live a moment that once was, but is no longer. Each two-dimensional photo must spark three-dimensional imagery.

I am but a witness to this world. I bring you what I see while on my journey. However, I cannot interpret a photo for you. When you peer through the window of time, you dive back in history and are given a second-chance to engage in a different corner of the world. At that point, you become my temporary companion, seeing things that I might not have noticed, while pondering thoughts that I might not have contemplated.

Like other artists, photographers have a responsibility to ensure that you are not distracted or lured towards a photo, unless it has the potential to add value to you. I say this because when you are giving me your attention, you are ignoring something else that is taking place around you. And this becomes a difficult trade-off between that which is happening now, and that which had happened before. A photographer is therefore saying that the past is more important than the present. When you are drawn to a photo, you are forced to shun the present. For this reason, it had better be worthwhile. Otherwise, it would not make sense to depart from the here-and-now, simply to venture into the long-gone.

Indeed, mathematics is a universal language. So too is music. Undoubtedly, spirituality, love, laughter, pain, and sorrow are common to us all. Yet, there is nothing more primeval than photography. This is because pure photography has nothing to do with the camera. A camera is merely a tool. The real essence of photography stirs the mind and sparks the imagination.

What can be more universal than an image that flashes inside the human mind? Each one of us is a photographer. We capture moments in our head, and we play them back, time and again. The images that we store in our memory emerge to delight us or to torment us. We savour the glimpse of a lovely friend, and we try to escape a recurring nightmare. Either way, we think in images, not in words.

Each of us can associate with photography because it: trades in truths; passes no judgement; proclaims unwaveringly; and takes no sides.

The end-result is an image that: speaks no language; utters no words; makes no demands; and tells no lies.

Do you have the courage to look truth in the eyes?

I would encourage you write to me with your thoughts, using the Contact Page. Additionally, I would welcome you at my FaceBook page or my Flickr page.

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