4/30/2017: Random Photos – The Camera is the Only Tool You Can Bend Time With

Afternoon Stroll 2010

Afternoon Stroll – Dallas, TX. 2010 

“For me, the camera is a sketch book, an instrument of intuition and spontaneity.” ― Henri Cartier-Bresson

It had been a long day of image making and I was getting a little tired. I was in Dallas, Texas working to document a large protest centered around the recently passed Arizona profiling law. The event had taken place peacefully and was winding down, around 25,000 people were making their way out of the downtown area. As I stood on the sidewalk getting a drink and a breath I was drawn to the reflections of passers-by in a nearby storefront window.  There was a reflective coating on the glass that slightly distorted the image and of course everything was inverted. I wanted to enhance this effect and was fascinated as always with the idea of making an image of an image. I started adjusting settings and doing test images when I noticed the couple shown walking down the street with their baby in a stroller.  It was a cloudy day. F/5.6…..1/15th of a second….ISO 200…. Monochrome Mode. Pan slowly. Overexposed. Many steps away from reality.

Overexposure is a big no-no in digital photography and this image was captured with a simple Canon Rebel DSLR. In film we expose for shadows and in digital we do the opposite, exposing for highlights, if we are following the rules. I had been following the rules all day and wanted something different. Once again I was in one of those situations where I knew there was an interesting image, if I waited and was prepared. Having an idea of what kind of image I wanted was helpful and the distorted window provided the perfect canvas on which to make this ‘light drawing’, the literal meaning of the word photograph. The slight overexposure gave me the graphic effect I wanted as well as the time needed to properly pan the shot, and I knew this from practice and experience. I love moments when intuition and spontaneity combine to produce these unexpected images.  Maybe they are bending time over at CERN as well …..but if so they won’t tell.

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