The Process. Sometimes.

I was  driving through an unfamiliar neighborhood on the way home yesterday after picking up  scans for some client work.   Off to my right out the car window I saw the flag (I always see the flags) and the fence and instantly the photograph formed in my head.  I turned around, parked the car, grabbed the camera and went to work.  A teenager was playing basketball on an adjoining driveway to the house.   I smiled (always smile) and asked if he lived there, pointing at the house with the fence and the flag.  He responded no and kept on shooting.  I am always careful when approaching and entering private property in pursuit of a photograph.  I stood on the sidewalk looking at the house, listening to hear any sign that anyone was in the yard or visible in the windows.  There wasn’t.  I set the exposure, walked up the path and clicked 4 or 5 times, recomposing slightly every time and opening the aperture from 5.6 to 1.4, changing the shutter speed appropriately.   I was on the property less than 45 seconds.   I was not surreptitious or sneaky, just quick.  I stopped  and shot a few baskets with the kid (I actually hit a few modest jumpers) and tried to convince him to try out for his high school basketball team.  He had a nice little shot and could clearly play the game but had no interest in playing as the coach was a jerk.  Okay then.

I am very pleased with the resulting photograph.  I was thinking of two images as I stood out in front of that house yesterday, the Bresson photo of an old woman draped in a flag, and a photo by Paul Strand:  The White Fence, Port Kent, 1916.  I have always overlooked the Strand image until recently when I had the occasion to view a print made by the artist.  Simply brilliant.

Incorporating the American flag in any photograph adds quite a bit, as everyone feels or thinks something when they view it.  The combination  of the picket fence (Mark Twain) and the flag proved irresistible.  So this is the process, sometimes.





One Comment

  1. Mary Ruegg February 14, 2015 at 11:52 pm #

    Love this..excellent!