Thursday, August 2, 2012

Afternoon Sun

This picture happened accidentally while I was playing with Mabel Watson Payne. She had found a perch in the bedroom closet and wanted me to share the space with her. I stood obligingly inside the closet's open doorway. Then when I found myself looking across two rooms – toward the far west-facing windows – I saw something about the San Francisco afternoon light that made me take this single non-Mabel picture. I did not know what the picture would look like until several hours later back at home. Then I saw it big on the monitor and immediately liked it and also immediately confessed to myself that the results came more from luck than deliberation. But in fact I already understood that the kind of photography that appeals to me (or that I am capable of executing, anyway) is nearly always a matter of exploiting random chances rather than trying to assemble and control a composition. "You don't make the pictures," said Lisette Model. "They arrive. They make themselves."