|Kizomba at the Viaduc. Paris, 2015|
Every encounter with a person or a place has the potential to change us completely. The person who changed my way of seeing, as a photographer, was Robert Clarke-Davis. I was lucky enough to have spent moments wandering with him in Chicago and San Francisco, watching him imperceptibly take photos. And, he sent me camera equipment and photographs of his to look at, nearly every week, for years. My eyes perceive the world differently because of him.
Joel Meyerowitz quit his job and decided to become a photographer on the day he met Robert Frank, even though they barely exchanged words. I enjoyed watching this video, in which Joel describes watching Robert take photographs of two children and the effect that hearing Frank press the shutter had on him. Little snippets: “The small gestures seemed to have meaning, or potential for meaning. I felt the rhythmic flow. They were visual revelations. When I left the location, suddenly, everything on the street seemed dynamic and alive. Block after block, the world was inundating me. I was no longer the person I was when I left.”
This video also reminds me that one of the best ways to learn something is to just be in the PRESENCE of a master, and listen, wait, watch. No books, no classroom, no tests. Then, if you don't want to be a schmuck, get a camera...any camera.
"People ask: 'What camera do you use?' I say: 'You don’t ask a writer what typewriter he uses.' " - Man Ray