Sunday, December 16, 2007
John Szarkowski: "There is in fact no such thing as an instantaneous photograph. All photographs are time exposures, of shorter or longer duration, and each describes a discrete parcel of time. This time is always present. Uniquely in the history of pictures, a photograph describes only that period of time in which it was made."
and a bit further on,
"There is a pleasure and a beauty in this fragmenting of time that had little to do with what was happening. It had to do rather with seeing the momentary patterning of lines and shapes that had been previously concealed within the flux of movement."
Only when the water is still are the images consistent. Then one picks the frame and shoots, but when the breeze plays on the pool's surface every shot is a new discovery. Change the shutter speed, and even more effects are possible. However, one is only certain what one has much later on when the images as "virtual contact sheets" are viewed on the computer. When the wind was quiet and the water's surface still, the shots proved crisp and bland.
I watched through my viewfinder as the breezes rippled the surface until I was no longer watching the ripples but riding the undulating forms leaping through the frame, and then shooting became easy. After review, of many shots taken, it was clear to me that this was the one to choose.