When I’d had my first dog, Ray, for about a year, I took him to Saugeen Shores to visit my mother. We had an exciting weekend, with him falling out of the canoe (on a leash, thankfully) and then trying to claw his way up my chest when we went for a swim after. (We did this to make sure he wasn’t afraid of the water-nothing to worry about there!)
As we were leaving, he made one last run along the path to the beach, tail up and ears cocked. I was completely moved by the moment – it was the perfect image of a life unfolding, and all the excitement that comes when everything is new. I didn’t have my camera. I was heartbroken about not getting the image, practically in tears. As we drove away I thought about turning back and trying to get the shot, but realized I’d never be able to reproduce that moment.
15 years later, that image is as vivid and clear in my mind as the day it happened. I never really needed the photo. Now that I think of it, it probably wouldn’t have made the same intense impression on me had my head been stuck behind a camera.
When I’m photographing performances, I’m preoccupied with catching the moment – the light, motion and connection between performers and the audience. I find that as a result, I miss a lot of the show. Landscape photography is different; I usually have time to enjoy the view as I set the photo up, and time to relax after as well.
As much as I love photography, there are times when the camera obscures the image, rather than capturing it.