Camera Work: Change

Mountains of the Gorge_1

With the launch of FDL’s new look, (I almost titled this “Out to Launch”), my peculiar mix of computer problems seemingly related but not, yet needing solutions, the new comments section, I have so many different themes on which to write, but none seem to say “pick me” so I settled on change.

Along with change, a need for stability, something to come back to, something with a strong degree of permanence. The image selected is just that, stable, permanent. It is, and has been for a number of years, my desktop background.

Change is a peculiar concept. Change as a word, is unchanging. It sits there; c-h-a-n-g-e. It speaks of anything but stability, yet it is stable. Monetarily, it’s left overs, usually coins; spare change. Can you spare a dime? But then, spare has other meanings. We get into a spare world of change.

Photography, especially still photography is the tool of isolation, isolating a moment of time in which organization of shapes, light and color, shades of gray, into a meaningful image, a record of a moment long past and not very likely to repeat itself exactly. Some photographers, like Cartier-Bresson, steep themselves in grabbing that moment, a moment which cannot be anticipated, only recorded by the photographer a moment when light, composition, organization expression and feelings come together with the single press of the shutter release. We release that moment from flux to concrete. Change has been denied.

The camera is not the only tool to record change. The painter strives to do that, some, as in Ruth’s post yesterday, succeed splendidly. The microphone is another tool, but only when connected to a recording device. The microphone and lens share commonality. They pick up information, feed it to some sort of recording device.

Change is what photoediting is all about. Some strive to bring the image as close as possible to the originating event, some use it to depart from reality. Many, if not most, fall somewhere in between. I do. However, I don’t think any more, of truly departing. We already did that by taking the picture. My departure is to strive to get another ephemeral element onto play, my feelings at the moment, the moment of execution and/or the moment of revelation. And by that I mean all the experiences involving that image which becomes synergistic, the whole becomes more than the sum of the parts.

I have an image, recorded in 1995, for which excellent analog prints exist, but the translation to digital was rather horrid. This week, it came together, and did so while I had music playing in the background, something  occurring infrequently, but when it does there is no substitution.

Here is the music, and here is the image.

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