November 12, 2010

Michael at the Orchard

Why do I like this image so much? There are many reasons. I still remember taking it on an early summer morning at the Orchard at Altapass in the Blue Ridge Mountains. I was teaching a photography workshop there and Michael was one of our "students".

He was different than most of other students. Very quiet, with a glimpse of a kind, but detached smile, in his own world most of the time. As a former radiologist, he has always been close to photography .... but his photography world was very specific and his creativity developed in a special way. He would see faces in trees and dolphins in stone structures and signs leading to invisible access points. He had a gift of seing beyond the obvious.

So in that early summer morning, as I was gazing over the orchard trying to keep track of our students, I saw him walking the orchard road. Suddenly he stopped and put his doctor suitcase down. He stood as still as a statue for a minute or two and then he started mounting his camera on a tripod.

And suddenly, it struck me. That scene was in a perfect compositional and emotional harmony, and when Michael stepped into his own world, he became a part of what he was photographing. I could see myself in him as I was taking my own portrait. The experience was quite extraordinary and the shot is still one of my favorites.....

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