A Daring Sense Of AdventureFriday, August 08, 2008
I often tell my students that the key to taking successful photographs is to have the technical side of it down pat so that one can concentrate on the interaction with one's subject. I rarely tell them that there has to be a good measure of extraordinary luck.
Hilary, during our visit with her Clemen, who came from Mexico to Vancouver in 1976 to take care of her and her sister Ale while Rosemary and I worked, used an expression that made me think. Hilary is modern and what she said was, "on the same page." I forget the context.
If I were to elaborate to my students I would tell them that once the photographic technique was mastered, one had to be on the same page with one's subject. But luck would still have to be the strong suit as here in this picture (below, right) of Rebecca which I took on July 24th, 2004. I attempted a re-make/sequel a couple of years later with the same rose (Rosa 'Mrs Oakley Fisher') and the little sailor dress I purchased at Sanborns in Cancun. There was no magic. And perhaps there is no magic in this further attempt which I took last week. The dress was much too small and it has been inherited by Lauren. For this shot Rebecca is wearing a Mexican dress given to her by her aunt Alexandra. Rosemary told me that she bought the dress originally for Ale when Ale was Rebecca's age but somehow she may have worn it only once.
Perhaps there was a newness in posing for me in 2004 that made Rebecca look at my camera in that startled and striking way. She is comfortable looking at me now. She sometimes groans when I ask her to pose.
As I look at this new picture I can see how Rebecca is growing. Will she soon stop climbing trees and carrying her cat Lilly everywhere? It won't be long when she will abandon her reading of Nancy Drew. Will it be possible that she will lose interest in picking up snakes and all kinds of bugs?
Yesterday we were all standing at a decaying pier on a pristine lake in the middle of Bowen Island. Rebecca looked at me and I said, "Jump in, you know how to swim well." Her mother had her doubts. Suddenly, a deer (with very large antlers), perhaps stalked by Clemen's pair of border collies came crashing by us (at first I thought it was a large brown dog) and jumped into the lake. This bit of magic was accompanied by my nod and Rebecca plunged into the lake, too.
Rebecca might grow up but I suspect that her daring sense of adventure will accompany her always.