Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Hat girl

I remember when this was. There was a Latin American festival just starting and I was attracted by this hat stall and hung around photographing for quite a while, hoping something might fall into place. This exchange, the fleeting gracefulness of the young woman's gesture, can hardly have taken more than a fraction of a second. But the strange thing is, I have no recollection of taking this picture specifically.

Maybe I didn't. Gueorgui Pinkhassov, the wonderful Magnum photographer, has said:

Good photos have come when I least controlled the situation. The process reminds me more of fishing than it does of shooting. I look through the lens; I create my composition – banal, boring. Get tired, get distracted – click and success. As though the photographic angels, upon whom it all depends, had begged, 'Don't look through the lens, let us work in peace.' Sometimes I have not even recognized my own photographs.

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