Wednesday 17 June 2015

The Ongoing Moment

The Ongoing Moment
Kim Manley Ort reviews this book on her excellent blog.  As it's the second time she's mentioned it (and the second time I've been tempted!  I just had to buy a copy. 

I was particularly struck by what she'd extracted on Metaphors, and on stairs in particular.  I often photograph stairs and this may be why:
"On stairs: Atget often photographed stairs from the bottom, looking up – the stairs serving as metaphors for exhaustive endeavours that lie ahead, or possibilities for other views, other photographs. In Brassai, by contrast, the sense is always of stairs leading down … to a more intimate knowledge of a city… of the truth of a place being found in its basements."
I can certainly relate to this. Equally to the reflections on benches and doors

Indeed, if Henri Cartier-Bresson said that “photography was a way of comprehending" then I am minded, as Dorothy Lange claimed "that every photograph [is] a self-portrait of the photographer."  

I discovered how very true this is whilst completing Kim's excellent course on Visual Journalling.  I was lucky enough to participate earlier this year.  When it comes around again I cannot urge you strongly enough to sign up.  I don't often claim that something is life-changing, but my three month long experience certainly was.  

I have been left marvelling that I don't choose to photograph things, rather that - as Paul Strand said - "they choose me."  


  1. So much to read and so little time! Yes, Kim's posting was a good one and I enjoyed all the quotations too, some of which you've put up here as a nice reminder.
    Interesting the words about photographing stairs. I'm rather attracted to windows and bridges - they seem to appear fairly regularly and doors can be really exciting too!
    I have to admit, this books seems very interesting. You must let me know!

    1. Oh, rest assured, I will. Of course I need another book on photography like I need a hole in the head!