the nature of moments
This image would make teachers of photography courses, warm inside.
There is, it appears, a skilled eye and hand at work.
The image composition has structure’s strong bones. Its exposure is perfect, though taken long before automatic cameras and editing software.
The scene has a distinct line in, texture, layered interest, rich deep colours, recurring patterns, converging lines, foreground interest, shadow detail, and on and on. In short, the image is a photographic masterclass.
But it is likely that the photographer who took this image was not professionally trained. That they could not have cited a single rule of composition, even for a year’s wages. That they took a guess at what exposure would work in the contrasty scene.
Our photographer probably stood in the only naturally available spot and pressed the shutter quickly. Just happy that all 3 boys were in frame, that the scene had a spontaneous warmth, that the moment was right – even the dog was attentive.
Whatever the proportions of luck and design, in this image and in our lives, sometimes, everything comes together.
Things have a way of happening when they are meant to happen.
But for these gifts to be given to us, we must stand in the gloom and on muddy ground. And, behind wire and railings in whatever cul-de-sac we find ourselves, respond to the light that is there – whether on tumbled house bricks, the rust of a dilapidated car, the hair of a dog or in the shiny faces of young boys who will never grow old.
These are our moments – and we must prize them.
Prize them. Prize them.
For they won’t come again.