chaos theory, frankston
Two more from my trip to Frankston last week. One of the most rewarding attributes of photography is how interesting it is to look at photographs outside of the context that existed when you took them.
The seaside, as I said in my last post, was where everybody wanted to be that day. There were so many people around - on the path to and from, and on, the pier, in the general surrounds, and of course in the water itself. It was in fact quite chaotic. This is one of the wonderful gifts of photography - the ability to derive some sense of order from a confusing mass of forms.
Sometimes one doesn’t announce that one is taking photos, and as a result these are often the most interesting. The consequent picture, if it works (and often it doesn’t, such is the nature of this type of work) provides a natural slice of life, quite free of any self conscious or artificial posing or acting for the camera.
These were both taken “on the fly” when it really was a jumble of people. To photograph, I’d just raise my camera and click, basically on intuition that there was something interesting there. This is of course the sort of situation in which the Leica has earned its reputation, as it is quiet, small and relatively unobtrusive. Using something that calls attention to itself can be decidedly counterproductive in these sorts of instances.
With the photo of the ring of people in the water, the camera was pointing basically into the sun, so it was pretty hard to quickly determine with much accuracy what was actually in the picture, but I think it caught something of the intuitive choreography of these people as they moved with the to-ing and fro-ing of the swell, and in this way it worked out to be a really good moment. I’d argue though, that the picture is just as much about form - in this case, its design and space and the feeling of light.
With the people walking to and from the pier, it was a case of pre-focussing the 50mm lens and clicking when it seemed the right moment. Exposure as in all the photos that day was simply by the classic sunny 16 rule. It was very crowded and I wasn’t quite sure what would end up in the picture, but as it turns out I like the variety of expressions and the implied interrelationships (or not) of the different genders and personalities in this picture.
This goes back to where I started off with my remarks about how fortunate it is to have the luxury of contemplating a photograph after the fact. That way, removed from the hustle-bustle and heat and noise of the day, one can take the time to eke out information and detail from what was otherwise a chaotic scenario. And I think that, in doing so, one can then extrapolate to ponder questions as to whether the information contained within the frame helps us along the road to identifying what it is that makes us tick.
Which leads to the question - can anyone tell me, seriously - why on earth anyone would wear hipster briefs underneath his board shorts?