"One of the many ways of contesting level-zero, and one of the best, is to take photographs, an activity in which one should start becoming adept very early in life, teach it to children since it requires discipline, aesthetic education, a good eye and steady fingers. I'm not talking about waylaying the lie like any old reporter, snapping the stupid silhouette of the VIP leaving number 10 Downing street, but in all ways when one is walking about with a camera, one has almost a duty to be attentive, to not lose that abrupt and happy rebound of sun's rays off an old stone, or the pigtails-flying run of a small girl going home with a loaf of bread or a bottle of milk. Michel knew that the photographer always worked as a permutation of his personal way of seeing the world as other than the camera insidiously imposed upon it (now a large cloud is going by, almost black) but he lacked no confidence in himself, knowing that he had only to go out without the Contax to recover the keynote of distraction, the sight without a frame around it, light without the diaphragm aperture of 1/250 sec. Right now (what a word now, what a dumb lie) I was able to sit quietly on the railing overlooking the river watching the red and black motorboats passing below without it occuring to me to think photographically of the scenes, nothing more than letting myself go in the letting go of objects, running immobile in the stream of time. And then the wind was blowing."
-Julio Cortazar, Blow-Up
This is from the short story upon which Antonioni's famous movie was based. I've been meaning to post this excerpt here for some time, as it is a kind of tribute to my photographer friends. This is specifically for Paul who recently announced his engagement. He is getting married next year in Hong Kong and I can't wait.