Thursday, February 23, 2006

Bobby and your heart out......

I don't know if any of you keep up with the Brown's on their reality t.v. show, but it is, with a collage of quick clips, separated in groups under titles which are an outtake from that group of clips, seemingly shallow, if you're just flipping by. But upon closer examination, Mr. Brown seems the more sincere and smarter of the two. Ms. Houston/Mrs. Brown seems truly smitten with her husband, in her own way. The children, in the few clips I watched, seemed absolutely loving. (I about never run a television or radio in the house or in the darkroom. I happened to catch the Brown's in a rare incident where I found myself in the proximity of a television that was on.)

I offer the same kind of challenge as the Brown's on television, in my blog and in my photographs, to find out who I am, even if you're not interested. I'm not the person in the photographs,- I am the person taking them. Think about that for a minute.

I'm an observor documenting and recording the minute details, the often mundane happenings in the subject's life. "He" is my subject. Dividing into two, in a way, was the existentialists way, right? My life, separate from me, as I observe it.

When I was a young photographer attending the annual Wilson Hicks Photojournalism Conference at the University of Miami. One of the speakers, and time and seizures has erased his name, talked about how he posed some of his candids.

Now that was a revalation! Heretofore, perfectly "candid" photographs in Life Magazine magically dissolved before my very eyes. So this was photojournalism! Well, that changed things! (Quite literally!) I watched amazed as the photographer described how a person had been moved from here to there for reasons of composition or lighting, a suit jacket taken off and very carefully "casually" tossed over a chair back, a clean ashtray was exchanged for a dirtied and filled one. Little things, but important things to the photograph, and the statement as the photographer had seen it, understood it. How a tie hangs. Should the drapes be open or closed? Turn on a fan to ruffle them a bit.

So while changing nothing about my subject, in comparison, I still remain an agressive photographer. I watch and stalk my subject, take it as I see it, because it has all been preset for me, by the quirks and the habits of the subject I follow.

I am not the director, or the storyteller, or the critic or the editor. I take what's there, in the most honest way I know how to. Most important, I guess to an extent, because I still move people around sometimes for reasons of lighting or composition. Other times I myself am the only one aware of what I'm doing. People oft times ask "Are you taking pictures?" after the third or fourth exposure, as they finally become aware of my arm stuck out to the side. I've become adept at winding and releasing the shutter one handed, with either hand, and lots of practice and experience, a sixth sense, takes care of the aiming and composition.

I long ago learned how to keep up a running conversation with my subjects, telling them with a straight face that "Oh, there's no camera here! I'm not taking pictures." and sometimes even "I'm not really here. It's just your imagination. What ever gave you the idea that I was here?" It might bring forth a chuckle, but it does tend to relax them. It's like a childhood game, something you might play with a four year old, and it strikes a chord with that long repressed child within us all. Play acting. "Let's pretend!"

Still, it's my life, and a lot of the shots are totally candid as far as other people who might appear in them. The people I see frequently sometimes ask "where's your camera?" when it's dangling from my wrist, like it's supposed to be there in my hand. They get so used to my actions nobody notices anymore. Others I suspect actively "play the game", like the assistant City Attorney in my posting on the 19th - "I try to be everywhere...", as she looks at me, talking with just a hint of a smile on her face as she carries that stack of files and law books "just so". Yet she might not be aware of it either. We all have that little kid in us. Nobody wants to admit just how much of what we do in life has its roots in "Let's pretend", and that there's a certain unreality to all of reality. It's like another universe and I'm having a fantastic time exploring it!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi ##name##, I've been working on the backyard a few years. We finally added a pond and a waterfall but I am certainly openlandscaping tips to some tips on how to make our backyard look great for this spring and summer.

8:03 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home