Monday, June 22, 2015

Photographic Mind/No Mind: Zen Time

When you meet people on the street and ask if you can photograph them,  you have to get the picture in a shot or two.  At least that is what it feels like.  But if I were to slow down a bit and think the way I do in the studio, I could make the pictures better.  I saw this woman through the screen door of this bakery and walked up to peer in.  She came over and asked if she could help me.  No, I said, just taking pictures.  Here, let me take yours.  She opened the door and I nervously snapped two.  O.K.  But if I'd been thinking, I would have asked her to put her right hand on her hip or to place her right hand on her left hipbone (probably the latter).  I also would have had her close the screen door and stand close to it on the other side so that she was a bit ghostly.  One could argue, of course, that it would then be something other than journalistic, but the whole image is manipulated in some way regardless.  I have to slow my mind when I am shooting in the street just as I do in other endeavors where everything is a chaotic jumble.  I hadn't been shooting in the street enough to have enabled that zen mind though.  I will develop some mantra when I am working that will remind me to slow the fuck down. 

But oh that Leica. 

almost--and I mean I was this close--bought a Leica Monochrom on eBay yesterday.  It must have been a demo camera for it came with the warranty card.  $4,100.  What would I do with that thing, though?  What advantage would there be over the Leica M7 film camera? 

I'll tell you.  You can change the ISO setting any time you like.  The digital camera can shoot in the dark. 

Oh, I can feel myself being drawn to the Darkness.  It has a convincing power, an incredible pull.  Voices call to me, and I have begun to listen.  But I tell myself this: use the film camera in the street until the pictures are as you want them to be.  Make use of what you have and master that before you allow yourself this other luxury. 

The Darker voices are powerful, but my inner voice is right.  Film first.  And then, when I have perfected the thing. . . when I am ready. . . .

Sage advice. 

Try taking it sometime and see. 

What I need to be photographing now is heat.  Here there is only the incredible, searing heat.  Every day is another scorcher, 95+ degrees.  Last night when I finished dining with my mother at eight o'clock, the official thermometer was still at 91.  These are truly End Times. 

These days and nights of hot, hot heat will drive me mad.  Beware.  But I've thrown the mulch and now I will pepper the lawn and shrubs with a summer fertilizer.  I am going to take a chance and plant some jasmine and pygmy border grass, too, though this is the wrong time of year for that.  I will leave town several times this summer exchanging this madness for some other.  Of course, it is the cat who will suffer most.  Poor puss-puss. 

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