I believe, I have already mentioned in some earlier post, Maslow’s Law Of The Instrument. Simply put, it says, that if you have a hammer in your hand, everything appears to be resembling a nail. The underlying observation was criticizing a simplistic approach in trying to resolve new problems with old tools.
As I am writing this, only a few days separate me from the end of annual holidays. In September the usual routine will resume, and the photo opportunities during the week will shrink down to a couple of 20 minute walks to and from the office, plus an odd exit to buy some food.
Monaco is little longer than a couple of kilometers, and I cover that distance twice a day. In the mornings, the typical company are people walking the dogs and the sanitation workers washing the pavements.
Anybody would understand quickly, that there is not much to be expected from street life at 7AM or 10PM, if you walk a narrow path along the sea, even in a place like Monte Carlo. Yet, somehow, the simplistic rule of the hammer can be your friend if you insist to always bring your 35mm camera along. My typical “viaticum” is a Leica with a 35mm or 50mm lens.
All the pictures in this post have been made like that: during these daily routine walks, plus occasional exits for some quick shopping. Admittedly, they at most can be considered to be “almost” photographs, and as Gianni Berengo Gardin said: an “almost” photograph amounts to nothing.
None the less, keeping your eyes open every day is important. It maintains your vision sharp. Moreover, when you try to make yourself receptive to generic visual stimuli, you activate the diffuse thinking, which can reward you with important insights later.
Sometimes I get a bit more lucky when out to do the shopping. This usually is a round trip of about one kilometer.
One has to believe in serendipity, or to be completely rational, in the concept, that luck favours those who are prepared.
Sometimes, it takes a bit of gymnastics to grab the Leica and focus quickly, while you hold a couple of shopping bags in your hands.
I don’t think I’m at all original in saying all this, but like always the proof is in the pudding, and nowadays more than ever to believe is to see.
At times you don’t need to hope for the impossible, and just accept to take images that happen right in front of you.
When the evening sets in, the scenario becomes more difficult, owing to less generous illumination.
Evening images necessarily have to be more sterile and abstract.
I’ve come to appreciate the deep contrast and ambiguity of night photography, although it’s not so easy to do it hand held on film.
The shimmer of the moon on sea is often providing an attractive backdrop, just like the illumination of the railings.
Thinking, learning, making photographs makes me feel alive.
“Viaticum” – Esbjorn Svensson Trio