Without having to mention the erudite exegesis of the of the gesture made by Alessandro Baricco I would like to voice my opinion on the overall effect that is neglected and marginal: the gesture, with which one photographs.
In my irrepressible presumption I am used to saying that in order to give an opinion on the photographs of a photographer I absolutely do not need to see his portfolio: it is more than enough to see how he poses and how he moves with the camera in his hands. I only need ten seconds.
It doesn’t seem so absurd to me: doesn’t a chef only need to see how the cook will cut a tomato to judge him? And doesn’t it take to see how a person will put the car into first gear to judge how he will drive?
The security, the accuracy, the habit of the gesture are made in a way that the very act reveals the precise consequences of its effects. Cause and effect, inextricably linked.
On this topic I was very impressed with the backstage photograph of a pretty good photographer’s blog, or rather let us say he’s good enough that I think it can be useful also to examine how he does things in order to understand the formula…
First of all the clothing. I’ve written before about the assistants but of course it also applies to photographers: you have to dress for a photo shoot in a manner adequate to where and what you are shooting. Seems a banality but I can assure you that it is not. If I see someone that is going to work under the scorching sun of the Maldives wearing black jeans (it has happened to me) it is not necessary to pick up a camera in hand to understand the that work will be crap. Going back to our mysterious photographer pictured above, you notice how not only is he equipped for the cold (if you have to shoot all day outdoors in the snow you MUST be organised for the cold!) but also how mimetic he is in relation to the landscape that surrounds him. As a soldier (where he got the pants from…) he is hidden and camouflaged to make the best possible shooting…
But lets get to the core here, at the punctum of the photograph above: obviously its in the feet. The position of the feet! I do not know if I am exaggerating, if I find too much symbolism in the tiny details, if I am always looking for the enough that will tell the whole, rather than decline I prefer a little too much the paradigm of events, if I think to simplistically about the “zen and the maintenance of a motorbike“, if I am always looking for the small lock that opens the big door… etcetera etcetera.. But I can assure you that I read in that position of the feet the secret of the great capabilities of our mysterious photographer. Yes! It’s all there!
The calm with which he poses, the apparent lack of balance that leads to a rather relaxed solidity. The body following that follows placidly the raids of the mind. The detachment that reveals deep sense of belonging.
There it is, the secret of Mr. Thorimbert is all there!