Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Ansel Adams described the camera as an “instrument of love and revelation”.

Sometimes i am blind. The clear-eyed sights of truth lie beyond my peripheral vision, emotions outlive and outweigh my ability to feel, i dream in impossible colours. Blinded by that which enables me to see, i rail against those who describe photographs as 'pushing boundaries'. They are leaves that meander downriver. Sometimes stuck in eddies, sometimes carried along in the mainstream. Obsessed with focus, exposure, mechanics. I will torch them all. My photographs.

The task of the photographer is to bring to light that which cannot be seen.

Trapped within turgid methodologies, i must jump boundaries and barbed wire without dropping the Rolleiflex. Infrared, infrared - why did Kodak banish infrared from this hot planet? Those pecuniary, short-fused fools. How to regain those searing truths, that slow burn of heat and light, all blistering silver heat of moment, lush glow and gritty force and hearts and minds aflame?

Climbing through overgrown steps, the ivy mocks our illusions of control. Through the open window and all is transience, dust, trash. Surrounded by the verdigris of evaporated souls. All the fittings gone, a fire lying long cold on the floor. Empty rooms, an emptier note in the fireplace. "You are the worse person i know. You took all i got. Please bring it back." The lament of the squatter on the edge of the abyss. Beyond realising you've got to give up everything to have it all, she is now overwhelmed with the terror of that lone dark flight into bliss and oblivion. The sad beauty of falling, and falling.

White dress, chocolate bricks. We stand and stare at each other, momentarily stunned. “I’m nervous,” she confesses. My hands shake. This is new. “I’m nervous too.” The veneer is gone, with it the wilful, simple urge to capture and contain. All i know to be self-evident flies from the lens, reflected on some distant horizon, a cargo cult plane. I can look at nothing, i can see nothing, i can only feel. I can’t operate these simple controls, these proffered mechanical dials, i can’t see the meter. I look to the walls and the ceiling, into the light that creeps silently through the window, a cat burglar, stealing away my stores of hubris and presumption.

The image of Miss Polly in the viewfinder is beautiful. The German existentialist Friedrich Nietszche said to experience a thing as beautiful means to experience it necessarily wrongly. But then, Nietzsche was a cunt. I press the shutter.

I am blind. I am a photographer.

1 comment:

sarah toa said...

Beautiful - "The moment" I love it!