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Moments and Millimeters

The best photographs tell a story. I adore texture and pattern and color and composition, but the best images tell a story. In this case, I was shaking like my dog on the way to the park because I was at a dog show with my camera. Opportunities for a story were everywhere. Then I saw the chair. As I started to frame up the macramé avatar, here comes the real thing in the background. Later, I realized that table back there repeated the four-legged motif.

In all my years as a tv news cameraman, anticipation was drilled into me. One eye to the viewfinder and one eye to the rest of the world at all times prepared the photographer for anything. Anticipating action was important but having an open heart and an open mind was critical. Sometimes it comes in the form of ironic juxtaposition, sometimes a chance for natural framing, once in a while it's an instant of elements all coming together-- Henri Cartier-Bresson's "decisive moment". I saw a film strip in high school of the great master. You never saw Cartier-Bresson--there was only his thickly French accented English with this infectiously enthusiastic zeal for waiting. Waiting for that exact moment. Sometimes it's just a matter of a millimeter-- but you just know when to act--

"Yes.Yes. That's it."

That was it for me.


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