The above moment where a young boy, accompanied by his parents gets to sit with a pilot in a South African Police Services Air Wing helicopter in a Johannesburg park depends on a ‘tripod’ for support. This tripod has the following legs; story, composition and technique.
Every photograph ever taken depends on the same 3 basic legs to get off the ground… It does not matter if you use a cell phone or a DSLR camera, it is also the same for digital and analogue pictures.
Captions are great, they give the reader of the photograph some context, but the picture has a story to tell the readers of itself too. Narrative photography is like that, the photographer catches the moment in a frame and gives it a life of its own in the form of a photographic image that carries on from there, telling others of the photographer’s encounter on that day and in that place.
I see a story of a boy engaging one on one with a man… I see a police pilot giving freely of his day to a member of the public that he serves. I see something of the time of the day and also of the time of the year, in the background I see parents willing to give a son some space to experience a Eurocopter police helicopter for himself.
The above image is also my own perception of the moment as the author of the photograph. It is just as I saw it on a high veld winter late afternoon. The composition is just as I as the photographer liked it on the day. I am also as close as I can be, “it is not good enough if you are not close enough.” I did not ‘see’ the inverted triangle of parents, son and pilot at the time but it gives the picture dynamics. I did see the curves of the joy stick and reflections while concentrating on the moment between man and boy which was paramount in my mind at the time.
My technique is simple, I use a Leica M6 rangefinder camera rather then a DSLR camera, I pre meter for exposure with a hand held incidence light meter. I use a rangefinder camera because it’s less seen by other people then a big black DSLR camera. I pre meter so I can concentrate on the moments in front of me and not on camera technicals.
In the end I let my photographs speak for me, and you as the reader can see the picture as you perceive it for yourself.