Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Man with a Lumix
I walked out of the house yesterday at 7:15 pm, looked at the evening sky and felt free. The excitement of a night all to myself buzzed through me, almost like it did when I was young and commitment-challenged. I entertained the notion that this night could be endless, that I could see something fantastic (hey, maybe a rock band!), and that almost anything I might see might seem endless or fantastic or beautiful.
I get this way when I take pictures. Some photographers have said that it doesn't really matter where they stand or what they frame up on--the pictures will be good (or not) for other, more intangible reasons. I understand this now. I would only add that if the photographer is able to rediscover the world every night, and explore it again like Magellan, the pictures will be good.
On a night like this, everything is fascinating. Two Turkish children gawking through the window of a McDonalds, as they wait for the Strassenbahn. An overbright train station. The facade of a sleazy bar. Vienna looks new again, and strange, and vital--like a story I want to tell. A cel phone boutique looks like the ultimate day-glo evidence of globalist narcissism; a roller coaster becomes a pilgrimage site.
Then it doesn't matter whether the photographs are any good. Feeling the world like it's a new place--that's the rush.