One of the truly great things about photography for me is how the vast majority of my pictures can take my memories right back to where I was when the picture was taken. This is especially true for travel photos, even for travel photos that are decades old.
That favorite picture from my European trip with my Pepperdine MBA classmates? Like it was yesterday. Those pictures from the harbor cruise in Cabo San Lucas? I can still feel the sun. The view climbing through the vermillion torii gates at Fushimi Inari? I can still taste the damp, mossy texture of the mist and fog.
In the last few days I’ve been spending a little bit of time every day sorting through the pictures from last year’s trip to Washington DC for the Hubble 25 NASA Social. Lots of pictures of the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum, Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the Capitol, and so on.
In the middle of a full day of these pictures, each evoking vivid memories, I found this single frame:
Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot!
I have been known to occasionally bump the camera (or cellphone) and trip off a picture or two of some random piece of sidewalk, sky, building, body part, or total stranger. This isn’t one of those. This appears to have been deliberately taken. Framed. Focused. Well lit.
I have absolutely zero memories of taking this picture. An orange peel in the trash. Maybe a candy wrapper or water bottle or something else buried under it? No “aha!” moment that takes me back to a time when there was a logical reason for creating this image.
It’s just after a whole slew of pictures as I walked the blocks around the White House, and just before pictures of the Washington Monument, for whatever that’s worth. And yes, it does appear to be in sequence after looking at the file data. It’s not somehow mislabeled or showing up out of context, as if there might be another context where I would say, “Oh, yeah! I remember taking pictures of the trash!”
If Muldur and Scully want to look for proof that there is a God and she’s just messing with us, they might start here.