Sunday, 19 August 2007

One recent Saturday...

Just when I thought I had finished photographing for the afternoon:

This happened:

The bus pictures were exciting to take – for a while I could photograph as closely as it seemed safe to and I was only moved back when the emergency services arrived. But when I looked at the scans I was disappointed to find that although the pictures were perfectly acceptable of their kind - hey, a burning bus! – they didn't 'take off'. They were what they showed.

That was a useful lesson. It showed me that sometimes even the dramatic remains obstinately literal and mundane and the pictures – no matter how exciting it seemed at the time – refuse to rise above or extend beyond what they describe. What gives a picture wings and makes it worth repeated viewing is one of the most mysterious aspects of photography.

But at other times you get lucky. Other layers unfold within the picture and it offers what I think I'm always looking for in street photography: room for interpretation, for other 'stories' to emerge, room for the picture to breathe and assert its own life...

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