I am still here and alive despite reports of me falling off the face of the earth. Though, I'm sure the 5 people who read this blog will have long since stopped checking for my updates. I think I resolved a while back to write more entries, more often. Well, I suck.
I've been throwing around this idea lately about starting a kind of photoblog, but I thought that I might end up abandoning it or this one or both, so instead I've come up with a compromise. I am going to post a photo every week on this blog...maybe it'll be something recent, maybe something old...but I've decided I want to be more aware of my work. Better able to speak about it, to defend it, to understand it. So I'm gonna start here. I don't plan on writing about technical stuff or even really critiquing it - mostly I just want to talk about WHY I took the photo and what it looks like to me...and hopefully this will inspire me to write more frequently about other things as well.
I like taking portraits. A lot. Not set up ones, but ones that just sort of come out of a moment. A space that can't be recreated. It's something I usually don't think about. I just see it. The light, the colour, the focus...it all seems to come independent of anything I do. I'm not a creator, I'm a witness. There is a portion of text that Dryden writes in his "A Song for St Cecilia's Day 1687":
From harmony, from heavenly harmony,
This universal frame began:
From harmony to harmony
Through all the compass of the notes it ran,
The diapason closing full in Man.
Its this beautiful image of the whole of creation being created by harmony and music and the whole of the entire universe comes together in humanity. When I take a portrait of someone in the context of one of these impossible to recreate moments, this is how I feel. Like, what I am capturing is just this tiny glimpse of something that is massive and overwhelmingly complex and infinitely important. And what I capture of it is tiny and fleeting: the edge of a smile dipping in at the corner, the smooth line of light along a cheekbone, eyelashes peeking off the edge of a profile, a stray hair blown outside of a hood. Things that just hint at something so much deeper, so much more.
Today I want to talk about this portrait:
I took this one of Jamie while I was walking with her in the playground across from our house after it had rained. It was one of my favourite afternoons of last summer. What I like the three pieces of hair around her face in the background...two falling forward, one still clinging to the inside of her (actually my) hoodie. I like how her eyelashes are super dark here, but not without detail. I like the way she has her mouth set while she's thinking and how the zipper creeps up at the bottom of the image, but what I like BEST about it is the piece on the close side of the hoodie that is being pulled out of the frame. It makes me think there is something more to this image, this moment that just shows itself for the briefest instant before the wind lets that piece of hair fall back into place. That's what I see when I look at this photo.