Here’s a precious image I found along the way to something else. It is remarkable how often I find an image waiting for me, as if precisely composed to order. Sometimes the image just sits there, patient and waiting. Other times it is fleeting and I must rely upon a twitchy, trigger finger in order to capture it. Capture is a funny word that photographers use—as if we were walking around with butterfly nets.
Henri Cartier-Bresson spoke of the decisive moment where a convergence of pictorial (and emotional?) elements come together to form a fleeting image. He stressed the importance of the photographer’s awareness and readiness for such instances. His photo of a man jumping a puddle (and clearly about to get wet) is the image always used to illustrate Cartier-Bresson’s brilliance for finding such moments. While I cherish this kind of reflexive photography, it is remarkable how often more peaceful compositions lay in waiting for me. It is a more Zen-like observance, a quiet state of consciousness where the world seems to cooperate in a never-ending display of beauty.
No scene sits forever. In fact, one of the first revelations that most any artist discovers is that light is ever changing. Time seems to speed up when one is trying to record a scene. Shadows move, clouds scurry by, the sun’s arc is clearly evident. Life takes on an orchestral quality, a symphony of light and motion that moves ever forward. Yet, the quiet, patient images are always there, waiting for us. And they seem to sit still just long enough for our shutter to click. It seems that most everything, when in the right mood, wants its picture taken.