Sunday, January 17, 2010


The Accidental Photographer

I have found it is difficult for me to by force of will create a good picture.  In Henri Cartier-Brissons work 'The Decisive Moment' (which I have not read because it's an expensive out of print work) he mentions that some of his best images occur in the last few frames when he is trying to finish the roll so that it can be developed. That you don't so much find the picture as the picture finds you.  That photographic Zen moment.  This is not always the case, sometimes you have those rare moments where you sense behind the lens that you have before your lens more images then you can deal with. When everything comes together and just waits for you to capture it and you're lucky enough to have a good camera in your hand.  Those "Kodak Moments" that professional photographers could create for advertising Kodak Film.  The staged image that looks accidental. That's hard to pull off consistently so for the amateur it's a rare moment, an accident of lighting, position, and having the lens focused, the apeture perfect.  I found this picture this morning taken back in 1978 of my sister in law that reminded me of one of those types of images. It was on a roll of film that included a lot of great family pictures, a cloudy overcast day in late Summer on the Oregon Coast where I had my camera and my brothers family and everybody looked so beautiful to me that I couldn't take enough pictures.  The negative is old and faded but I may consider someday trying to see if I can make a decent black and white print from it. 

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