Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Photo/Text 9: Click

Taking a picture is as much about excluding as including. I seek angles to cut out the detritus of life, avoiding images that are cluttered, junky. This time I cut out his sister—to whom he is walking with a snowball—to render just a boy, a field of snow, a winter sky, a row of New England houses, creating a moment that didn’t quite exist. I select this one from all the other shutter clicks—the dozens or hundreds of attempts that came before, that came after, each rejected image cradling the chosen one like parentheses, closing the moment off, keeping it distinct, clean, keeping the clutter at bay, saying—look, this is what I make of the moment, what I preserve; this is the moment distilled, as it should have been, free of distraction, of the terrible junk and entropy of life. It is the spare cherry-picked words of a lean poem. It is holding a fish for an instant out of the water to see the glint of scales before dropping it back into the obscurity of water. It is but one way of seeing a fish. But still it is seeing.