One Side to the Other

Images made within moments of one another. Wandering amid the masses of beach dwellers. Just shaking the dust off. A snap here, a snap there. Looking more than shooting. The distance is what is troubling at first, after so long in front of the screen, protected. Not here. Everything is open to the elements, including my eyes which dry and then water like a newborn. My depth is not quite right, but I know it and take visual precaution. My fingers tremble over the dials, a routine that comes back quickly no matter how long I’ve been away, and now, when I look down, the numbers are fuzzy. Yes, I’m that guy now. The one who lifts the spectacles to see what is so clearly right in front of him. Age destroys ego in most, and I can see myself leveling off in regard. “Know your limits,” someone wiser once said. Mine are clearly, or not so clearly, defined. I need no map to see the edges of the flat Earth. One boot hangs on the edge, but the other is dug in, braced and defiant.
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The camera allows me to become invisible. I know, I know, that’s impossible, but I beg to differ. A physical meditation if you pursue it long enough. I swear. You are there, and then you blend into the swatch kit of color that life provides. I turn one way and slow the shutter, pan through the railing. People running. A rangefinder so I need to compensate for not seeing clearly the frame I need to see. Who knows? And then a slow path to the other side where a woman in white strikes a pose for me, only not for me, but for someone I can’t see. Thank you.
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Spacing. It’s all about the spacing. I know this isn’t something that will live on paper, or even in my mind for any length of time, but this image deserves respect only for the spacing. The elements are there, in harmony with the environment. Open, sandy, spacious, limitless, broad, minimal. Ya, that’s it, broad but minimal. We all have a wheelhouse and this is mine. I like to dissect. Need to actually and when I do I’m so happy it feels guilty. A secret I tell to only myself. You want to know this feeling? Just go. Just go and press the button. Again and again.
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4 Responses to “One Side to the Other”

  1. lionelB says:

    Some days are completely flat. There is no muse and nothing sparks attention. Then there are the times of heightened attention, of sharpened awareness and measured breathing. It is a floating and timeless sensation, ghostlike. There is no sense of urgency, no hurry. It is all about savouring. There is elation. What was a minute ago a beach of anonymous stones suddenly seems peppered with the preserved remains of fantastical creatures. On those days, we can pick them up one by one and marvel at them.

    It is solitary. How the moment arrives I don’t quite know but I know that I am lucky that it does.

    The light in those times is in shafts and patches, it runs in streams. It brings me alive.

  2. Mike says:

    Some days you practice your photographic scales: other days you play the music, and you need to practice to be in shape for the playing. I don’t try to be invisible, I just act as if photographing – and being photographed – is the most natural thing in the world. To me, it is.

    • Smogranch says:

      Mike,
      I don’t try either, it just feels like it happens. I’ve had clients, whom I’ve photographed at intimate times, say “I never knew you were there.”

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