It is fairly obvious from recently posted photos that I have been reading. Some pretty high-fallutin’ stuff, if I might say so. My undergrad mentor and I are reading the same book, and come April, we’re going to discuss it.
I mention this only to underscore the point that my photography has taken a hard turn, much in the way that one might disregard street action and instead photograph appealing architecture, the aesthetic of the picture nearly secondary to the structure’s facade itself. I recognize this parallel with the tight frames around well-chosen text. It is, unapologetically, what has my interest at the moment.
This does not necessarily mean that I have no interest in photographing other things, evident perhaps only to myself (I have yet to take a picture of myself holding a camera). And even though I may not be moved to use my camera, the thing rarely leaves my side, going out the door with me when heading to town, walking the dog, etc. Today was no exception.
I do not necessarily look for the unusual or out-of-place when out-and-about. No, it is more passive than that, which may distinguish me from those more accomplished. Still, in this big, hectic world we live in, there are bound to be some situations that make me stop and look again. Again, I’m not looking for them; in fact, when they appear, it is almost as if they were looking for someone with a camera.
This passivity might be a little disingenuous, a way to distance myself from the responsibility of the decision behind capturing the moment, the image, and, quality put aside for a moment, the content of said photo.
I had neglected to mail a promised package a couple days ago, it hidden underneath a supply of napkins I keep on the passenger seat (coffee sloshes when shifting), and remembering this afternoon, pulled up behind the Post Office to drop the parcel into one of the drive-up mailboxes. Something a little further ahead contrasted against the asphalt, and quite naturally, drew my eye.
Pulling closer, I saw what I determined to be a physical manifestation of influenza symptoms, absent the sufferer.
I know I must take responsibility for what happened next, for it was indeed purposeful. I backed the truck, turned the tires and moved forward again at an angle where I could stick my camera out of my window and, as sophomoric as it may be, get a picture of the vomit.
The more squeamish among us might audibly register disgust as they read the last sentence of the previous paragraph. I understand that not everyone has wiped up gallons of such emissions as I have, and therefore grown somewhat immune to the aspects that generate repulsion. I also acknowledge that those same people, and perhaps an even greater number, would insist that there is no need to be shown a picture of the discharge.
And that’s why I made it black & white.
Wholly innocuous, yes? Well, it’s one reason I make the photograph black & white. I also like the way the flowers on the bush echo the puke, almost as if they are responsible.