Fog and Family, Marin Farmer's Market | Mark Lindsay

There are times in a photographer's life when the light is so exquisitely right that it aches. When the right light combines with a compelling subject one can feel an alchemical change occurring. Clicking the shutter becomes an intoxication, something we must do. Endorphins rush into the brain. It's heady stuff.

Regardless of where we are or what we are doing, it always starts with the light. We photographers are the sentinels of electromagnetic radiation as it dances around the universe. It is wrong to think, however, that photographers are simply observers of light. We know from the study of quantum physics that the observer never merely observes. She changes the nature of the observed. Pull out a camera and it changes everything. I have spent most of my life pondering whether this is a good or bad thing. I suspect it is neither, simply a fact that needs to be recognized.

The very nature of capturing something and freezing it forever is unnatural. It is toying with space and time. Photographers are tricksters. If we'd been alive during the Inquisition we'd have been burned at the stake for heresy. There are so many photographs on the planet now that we've become numb to their power. Yet, our unconsciousness is unfortunate. Not only do we alter reality with our camera, the photos we make come back around and alter us. They change our perception of everything.

Standing still at the farmer's market last weekend I was struck by the light as it passed through the morning fog. I began to feel the rush of the moment. Light and subject were converging. A family walked by. I made an image of a sublime moment that might now last forever.

Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still.
— Dorothea Lange