Another week of not being well–which, honestly, is something of a concern as my family is well aware of. Still, at some point the issues need to be set aside for the sake of finding some …
In the realm of photography, the concept of focus is so very important. It’s not just a question of sharpening up the image to be revealed, however. A blurry image, one that is completely out of focus, can still provide the smallest of clues as to what the photographer was focused upon. Indistinct shapes suggest one possibility or another; the shading sometimes offers that little bit more information about what the subject might be. The brightness gives rise to the idea of the matter in question. Then there are the colours, ranging from smeared and blurred to being awash with everything else that has been captured. It’s something of a mixture to be tested and retested until the correct formula is found and the end result takes its fullest form.
For him, it’s something between a hobby and a calling. His flaw, at least he sees it as such, is seeking perfection in what is created with the snap of the shutter and what eventually is revealed in the darkroom where the proof appears. But before the fixing and setting comes the actual moment of the picture being taken. There is time spent sorting out what the setting will be, the positioning of the subject, dealing with the placing of this accessory or that one. Hours are spent on what the idea is, but the reality of the moment seemingly has its own purpose.
This isn’t a frustration, far from it. He knows she has her own ideas, that her scheming will influence the end result. What begins as a simple idea turns toward something more encompassing, more revealing, far better than where his first thoughts had led. But, of course, it would; she desires something, as well: a note from the past to the future, a moment in time frozen to be looked back on fondly, not a thing of art to be displayed in some museum or show; that’s not what the focus is meant to be.
Being the photographer, and seemingly in charge, though that can be debatable at times, he corrals the focus of the work, positions the parts of the puzzle here and there, fitting them together and then repositioning them to try again. It’s very much like herding cats, though in the midst of setting the smallest details he realizes that these particular subjects are a bit more difficult to get sorted. Then he returns to the camera, plays with the shutter, exposure, and, of course, the focus to bring all into perfection.
Slowly resolving the image, the camera brings into focus fiery red and gleaming silver. A bit more and deepest ebon black and bright platinum blonde shimmer. Now the focus becomes vital, shades of green made to draw the eye and the focus towards the peak of resolution. The smallest adjustment either makes or breaks the end result, he knows. The subjects tease from the other side of the camera, wondering what is taking so long in many suggestive ways to try and break his focus. A bemused smile is evident through the viewfinder as he chides them to be good and behave, though that really will do little except draw more of the naughtiness out, resolving into the end result, he’s sure.
There’s a moment, one never knows when it comes, where the looks are perfect, the expressions beyond words, the moment being captured can manage to hold onto some of the perfection as best it could. The shutter clicks and clicks again, the light being pressed onto the film and exposed. It’s unexpected, in spite of the preparations before; the subjects pout and moan they weren’t ready for the picture to be taken, waving for him to join them. He sets the timer, leaving the position of observer of the moment, becoming instead part of the moment. The camera is alone when the shutter fires again.
In his darkroom later, he watches as a sheet of paper floats in a tray, the image resolving into form. Three figures, embracing, looking towards each other, the camera forgotten. The last detail appears and the image finds itself placed with the others taken before.
He regards the completed image, but his focus shifts as his loves come closer, having watched his efforts, to join in his passions, placing focus on their passions together. It is a reflection of love shared, the focus on which is always perfect.