If you had been present at the Big Bang, and you'd happened to have your smartphone on you, what sort of filter would you have used before posting the images you snapped to social media?
And would your lens be wide enough to capture the full-flowering of the just-born universe?
Of course, social media didn't exist 13.7 billion years ago, we're fairly sure, nor did cameras, we're fairly sure, but today we have the bright minds and bright focuses that are the hallmarks of nature-loving photographers.
Photographers like Frans Lanting, who regularly globetrots while capturing wowza imagery for National Geographic. Intrigued by the notions of epochs and Big Bangs and the flow of chronology and life, Mr. Lanting has compiled an exhibit of epic proportions, but not so epic that it can't fit into a single place.
That place is the Annenberg Space for Photography, and "LIFE: A Journey Through Time," Mr. Lanting's lavishly depicted chronicle of era-jumping, bio-based beauty, debuts on Saturday, Oct. 24 and runs through March 20, 2016.
The project includes "more than 70 images with texts and stories about the works as well as an innovative timeline of life on our planet." You'll see snapshots under the header "Elements," images inspired by the Earth's "early history." "On Land" takes on the time "when plants and animals colonized solid ground." And "Out of the Dark" "portrays the rise of mammals."
A quartet of short videos and a documentary are special to the Annenberg showing (the exhibit is currently on tour).
The visual stories and subject matter are stunners, but so is the photographer's message, that all of time is still in fascinating flow in the present day, if you take the time to find it. The notion of "the here and now" doesn't mean we've shaken off our long-ago past; we can find vibrant remnants, some still living and thriving, of long-ago days.
Which means we don't actually have to ride a time-travel machine back to the Big Bang, smartphone in hand; the early universe, and our early planet, are ever-present and around us, and ready to be appreciated. #nofilter