Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Operation - Pingtung *photo by Dr. Neoh

The only obstacle between me and a great picture is myself. This picture is an example of what happens if someone just picks up a camera, points, and shoots. Were I there, I would have tried to get the perfect angle, exclude some parts of the picture, maybe get a close-up on Arianna's face. The only certainty is that I wouldn't have taken this picture - the absolutely best picture that could have been made of this huge moment in Arianna's life - her first scrub-in on a surgery. There's foreground interest: the guy with the IV. There's the event itself: the tools in the surgeon's hand. There's a sense of urgency from the blurred nurse in the background. And there's the subject perfectly framed right in the middle, looking at the minicam image on the TV screen. A meaningful moment is captured, exactly as it was, forever! Awesome!

Several times this year, I've been in this exact situation, where if I had just picked the darn camera up and pointed it, I could have made an image that spoke volumes and framed the most unique points in time imaginable. One was at the aborigine village in the mountains. A teenager walked up to us in a flannel shirt, combat boots, and bleach-blond hair, stopped us and made us watch as she sung and danced to Dido's "Thank You," in perfect English. I've since written a small essay on the moment and kicked myself plenty of times for not raising the camera in my hand to my oblivious eye.

Other moment - on the train ride home from Taipei, all 56 passengers in our car had newspapers open, with pictures of Pope John Paul II on every page. We couldn't read them, but we suspected he might have finally passed away. I fiddled with the buttons and instruction manual on my brand new camera, not noticing one of the more interesting and significant scenes of my young lifetime. Not until a comment on photoblogs.org surfaced several days later asking if anyone had made images relating to the Pope's death did it even occur to me what a moment I missed.

When all is said and done, the camera is just a little box with a bunch of buttons. We don't have to chase all over creation after a shot that really means something. We simply have to live and remember to use it when the significant moment arises!


Blogger Myself said...

Fuji FinePix 4700

Anonymous jasonspix said...

Well said!

Anonymous carol said...

beautiful words :)


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