Getting started with Photography
25 Dec 2007
When as a child the impulse to get a camera and capture the world first occured to me since Browning 127 cameras had come down to my price range, I shared this desire with an uncle, who, for some resaon i could never discern, was held in high esteem by other members of my family. "Why do you want to buy a camera he asked?"
" I think i would like to take a picture of the bridge was my reply"
"The MAIN STREET BRIDGE--Why do you want to take a picture of the MAIN STREET BRIDGE?"
Well i like it.. err.. ahh-- i like the way the bridge makes shadows on the river ."
There was a moment of silence broken only as the wind blew and played around the steel beams of the bridge and the dark warter of the river moved slowly far below.
" Well why would your want to take a picture of the bridge, the bridge will always be here... if your want to see what it looks like and your can't remember just come down here and look at it." was his reply. " You dont' need to take no damn picture of it"
Years later as i became deeply emersed in photography, I think of that day on the bridge. To some extent he was right and when i watch the Gator Bowl on television invariable the camera will pan to the Main Stree Briddge now painted a sickly Carolina blue but still standing. and i recall somthing from Henri Bresson...
"Of all the means of expression photography is the only one that fixes forever the precise and transitory instant. We photographers deal in things that are continually vanishing, and when they have vanished , there is no contrivance on earth that can make them come back again"
Uncle Bill probably never read this quote and if he did he would assert that things constructed from steel and concrete would last forever but someday he will be proven wrong.. the Main Street Bridge which has stood for so long will be gone and maybe... just maybe a photograph will be around to remind me of the day we stood on the bridge and looked down at the dark flolwing St. Johns River and discussed the immuttability of material things.and a small boy's dream
Later he would discover that a good reproduction of "what's out there:" would not be enough-- What would be enough would be to combine the ephemeral "out there" with something "in here" in order to achieve a new reality in search of the sublime