12.12.2011

The magic of big, fat, soft, warm rain drops.

This is Ben at some tender age.  All the books tell me to get closer, get closer.  Fill the frame.  But if I filled the frame I'd miss the wonderful negative space of the black dog.  I'd miss the diaphanous ambiguity of the railings disintegrating into nothingness and the giant drops peppering the frame with motion.  And it wouldn't add to the feeling of a child's tentative exploration of big rain.

Sometimes we take images for the memories we think they'll evoke.  But mostly we take them to try and freeze the bittersweet rush through life.

I don't know which camera or lens I had in my hands other than it was a 35mm film camera.  The lens must have had a fast aperture and the shot was on Kodachrome 64 slide film.  It didn't matter.  It hardly ever matters.

13 comments:

Tofuphotography said...

Such beautiful writing. Thank you for the evocative picture. It take sme back to my childhood and playing in the rain

Anonymous said...

I am unabashedly in love with this photograph and in awe of the writing. Amazing combination of talents.

Paul Glover said...

I'm a recent grandfather and can very much relate to the aim of trying to stop time with a camera, grab little slices of it as it rushes by.

The camera doesn't matter, as long as it isn't one which actively prevents you from getting the shot at all.

Marten said...

Thank you for reminding me of a great truth and that is "Practice makes Perfect"" though I rather hope that the notion of perfection is a moving target and simply does not exist just keeps on developing (forgive the pun) and become all the more complex and interesting!

thequietphotographer said...

Theory as we all read in the books is useful. But photography is also about emotion. And breaking some rules can give more emotion. Yes, the dog and the rain give a great contribution to this photo.
robert

Richard said...

As this post reminds us, we must remember that they are not rules but guidelines. They work most of the time and are good starting points. But if we always followed the rules, photography and our images would be boring. I keep getting drawn back to the expression on Ben’s face and trying to determine if he is happy or sad. I can see why you like this picture. As always, thanks for taking the time to post.

Eric Elsewhere said...

it's funny, I need to keep telling myself to go wider, not to fill. usually there is so much interesting stuff going on in the background.

Wil said...

"All the books tell me to get closer... Fill the frame"

Which is probably great advice for people like me, who still haven't learned how to compose (or crop) very well. :-)

But all the books and advice don't really matter if you captured what you want... As a relatively new father, I too am bent on freezing those slices of time. Doing so, combined with the enjoyment of real-time, is simply amazing.

Megan | Photo Contest said...

Beautiful shot. Now I miss those childhood days playing in the rain. :) Sometimes, we have to break the rules or forget about theories and just do what we think is best. I'm glad you didn't took a closer shot on this photo. :)

Andy said...

As a father of a child of similar age to Ben (as he is here) this really struck a chord with me. But this is so much more than just a childhood snapshot - there are so many yummy details here: the rain, railings, expression, mysterious legs, patient shadow dog....
Superbly evocative, I think one of your best Kirk! And as someone who regularly extols the virtues of "filling the frame" to friends who will listen, this has been a real lesson learnt.
Thanks
Andy

Christian said...

What a beautiful picture! I like all the compositional elements you describe, but I LOVE the expression on Bens face - will he laugh or cry next?

FotoEdge said...

Pictures like this are MilePosts in a person's Life. And when they are beautiful and have a Sparkle, a Texture and an off-handed casual feel they are etched in your mind forever. Timeless little notches on our lifeline.

John said...

kirk, you did fill the frame! i don't think anybody ever said that filling the frame means that one has to be very tightly cropped.

i spent a week this year with Jay Maisel and he had a great and very succinct version of this. "Nothing in your image is neutral. Everything is either working for you or against you. If it is working against you, it shouldn't be there."

While he had many great comments and ideas, I would say that was my greatest takeaway from my time with him.

John