Saturday, April 25, 2009
Commuter, BART Train, San Francisco, March 2007.
It's fitting that I start the first entry of my first blog with the first picture I took with my first Leica, the D-Lux 3. This also happens to be the first picture that I sold (full disclosure: the first of two pictures I ever sold in my life), and the first to be published by the mother ship herself (Leica Gallery's Picture of the Week). The picture was surreptitiously taken from across the aisle while I pretended to fiddle with the controls of my camera, flanked between two men in business suits on their morning commute to San Francisco's financial district. The old lady's face, lined by time, framed by white hair and Anna Wintour glasses, commanded attention. I responded dutifully. When she pursed her lips to the air, she seemed to say to me: "Here, boy, take your picture now. May I inspire you to take more."
So I did and so she has. This was the first picture that made me realize I could have fun doing this, running up and down the hills of San Francisco chasing subjects, waiting in alleys and street corners for "my actors" to enter the light.
As for the title of this blog: John Szarkowski, in his book The Photographer's Eye, summed up a photographer's visual vocabulary into (1) the thing itself, (2) the detail, (3) the frame, (4) time, and (5) vantage point. I like people. I like observing them. So this blog, like my pictures, is all about the thing itself.