Photography: inspired by the rifle ranges in fairgrounds Henri Cartier Bresson saw himself as a photographer who composed with the precision and swiftness of a shooter at targets. His work reflects his incredible, original yet precise skill as a photographer. Nowadays, people are a bit shy of saying they are "shooting" a picture, as if something grossly aggressive were implied. Surely it is better to talk of taking or even better making a picture? I appreciate the less-threatening coinages as a way of showing respect and liking for the proposed subject.
For all that I maintain that photography is the art of aiming, and I would qualify this by saying without injury to anyone. It is also aiming with a certain result in mind to show a light, an atmosphere, a feeling. When I go out into the streets with my camera, for long periods I am unable or unwilling to press the shutter of my camera. For every second or thousandth of a second I spend pressing the shutter, there are hours of walking, talking to people, standing and taking things in. What am I waiting for? The right subject I suppose, yet also the right frame of mind from which to photograph. The short hand for this is: I need to be in the zone!
If I do succeed in getting into the zone, I still do not know for certain if a picture is any good until I review and edit what I have done, usually on a computer, not on the back of my camera. I also use film and like the sense in which photographing and seeing the result are two separate activities.As I go out I am intent on capturing the life going on around me, of which I hope I am a part. I will ask where asking is possible without ruining the naturalness of the situation. I shoot overtly or discretely, never covertly. If someone asked me to delete an image I had taken of them, I would do so. Respect and courteousness are the key virtues, the law about taking pictures of people in public places being no crime merely a reassuring something to fall back on.
In this blog I will post three photographs at a time. Hopefully there will be a link between the pictures in the resulting trio. I will supply a title yet as little text as possible.
I hope that other practitioners of the Aiming Art will enjoy these frames.