Moving just a few inches to one side or the other, up or down, forward or backwards subtly changes the way we see. And when the light is at a certain angle, at a particular time and in a given place, with the right frame of mind, the right intention and – more than anything else – when paying attention, you can witness the convergence that happens when taking a good photograph.
I say witness, because to me it feels more like that than feeling it’s something I’ve accomplished; it requires so many things that are really outside of my control to come together at precisely that moment, even if I’ve tried or wanted to make it happen. (And when I say good photograph, I mean really good and I don’t think it’s hard to know good from bad; the pictures I’ve posted here are not especially fine and all they do is illustrate a point.) I am technically unskilled at photography and don’t use much in the way of equipment, but I do know about convergence. It’s all about attitude – less about being in control and more about letting go.
This is why the best photographs soar head and shoulders above the rest, and stand out immediately where others are easy to ignore. For me, the best images are completely unselfconscious, without a trace of ownership or artifice, and simply exist as proof of the unique reality of a moment in time, seen and recorded. These pictures are rare and precious things.
There are awesome examples here on WordPress of photographers who combine technical skill and experience with sensitivity of this sort; one of my favourites is The Insatiable Traveler who often posts images I find so compelling that I find them hard to forget.
Meanwhile, occasionally I myself stumble into a happy condition of convergence and find I’ve taken a photo that records it. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does it fills me with delight – and gratitude.