Taking in the Scene

930sign

“I don’t have anything to say in any picture. My only interest in photography is to see what something looks like as a photograph. I have no preconceptions.” –Garry Winogrand

I was reading a great post this morning about photographer Paul McDonough and his photographs of New York City in the 1960s and ’70s. He also mentions one of my photographic heroes, Garry Winogrand (they used to take photowalks together– this is where I squee!), and he talks about being ready for capturing as you go, and about being ready to discover additional bonuses you may have captured in your photograph after the fact.

Some seem to think that if you take enough pictures, you start looking at life as if your eye were a camera. Or, well, who is this elusive “some”? I don’t know– people who don’t obsessively take pictures all day, perhaps? People who admire those who take pictures obsessively? The faceless, nameless “other” that populates every nightmare in which I come undone as an overly-sensitive and insecure bundle of nerves, screaming “I DON’T KNOW!” and bleating nonsense syllables as I sob myself awake, perhaps.

Hmm.

Yes, in sum, the secondary reveal is the best part of taking a picture.

That moment where you sit down and look at a photograph and realize that in addition to all the things you thought you had –bit of the 9:30 sign, check; hip party revelers, check; painful-looking piercing that you secretly wish you had the courage to get, check; the year “1980” carefully tattooed into the Beaux-Arts walls of the Corcoran, check; Beaux-Arts column, check– you realize that Henry Rollins walked into your frame, and that you can still tell it’s him even though he is a blur.

Looking, and then looking again: it’s just as much fun the second time around. It’s a little like finding Waldo.

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This entry was published on March 19, 2013 at 11:48 am. It’s filed under Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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