Friday, February 8, 2013


Well, not exactly a breakthrough because I had noticed Mitch was leading up to this, but this time he sent me one shot and directly asked me to put it up. The artist speaks.

By "this" I mean careful and deliberate composition/arrangement of a photograph. It was clear from some recent shots that Mitch had waited for the right moment or moved to where he could get the right angle but this time is different. He did all that and just told me to put it up, not leaving it to my discretion. 

The close cropped hair and folds in the clothing suggest a robed monk in sunrise meditation. I love the red artifact and the spikes of sun and wondering who the guy is and what he is wondering. I even like wondering if Mitch posed him.

That is a cell phone shot, by the way. It goes to show that the story and visual clout transcend the quality of the camera. Last weekend I dragged along my Nikon D70s SLR and Mitch shot nine hundred pix before I could finish a second pint at the Elbo Room. I will put those up soon but my point is I was shocked at how much richer those photos were compared to those of the cheapo digicams. This pic reminds me that in the end a good composition does not depend on a special camera.

This whole story started when Mitch kept showing me cell phone shots and I had a Canon Powershot sitting in a drawer somewhere so I wondered what would happen if Mitch had a slightly better camera to work with. Then he gave me back a few hundred shots of bikini butts and I thought, OK, he gave you three hundred shots of bikini butts, you wanted to see what he would do right? Shut up and go with it.

But I did pick the best of the butts and he had shot other things and some of those were interesting, so I did in the end inject my own sensibilities by picking certain pics and not others and by cropping photos to enhance them. I checked with Mitch on that imposition of my own preferences and he stopped me cold and said it was no problem, he liked the implicit dialog. 

The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle applies, I think. Heisenberg said the very act of observation alters the event, right down to a scientist in a white smock altering whether a photon behaves as a particle or a wave simply by looking at it. And they do not even have to look. If they set up a recording device which will let them look later, it changes the nature of the photon from wave to particle at the time of the recording.

So Mitch is the photographer and I am the audience. In a parallel universe I skated in front of a truck coming down off the drawbridge at twenty knots and Mitch had a different audience and took a different path, but I suspect in the end Mitch would be Mitch and he would end up at the same place me or no me, because in the end he would have found a different audience and in the end even as the artist heeds the audience the artist is no artist if they do not lead the audience to see things they could not have seen.

Uh, pardon the hyperbole. It is too soon to push aside Ansel Adams or Cartier-Bresson. With this shot I am just saying Mitch is stepping up his game nicely.

1 comment:

  1. You know i just found out something many photographers seem not to have a complete peace with nature and the essence of it. Learning to use the camera to show the world what i see,really makes people wonder what i was thinking when i took a shot.