Decisive and Transforming

(c)JerseyStyle Photography_AP_2010

Earlier this week, the NY Times Lens blog posted Magnum Chooses the Decisive, and Transforming, Photo. The piece starts out by asking “Why do photographers get attached to a particular image from their archives? Is it the image itself or the moment leading up to it? Was it the effort to obtain it? Did the photo capture a historic moment or a turning point in the photographer’s life? Or was it simply about discovering new gear?”

All very interesting questions. After I read it, on my drives too and from work, I contemplated this in light of my own work. Now, I’m late to the photography game. Only been shooting, and learning, for roughly eight or nine years. I obviously don’t have the body of work like a Magnum photographer.

But I still thought back, and looked through, a number of my images to see which one I would say was my decisive and transforming image. I landed on the one above.

I shot it on January 1, 2010, during the Sons of Ireland Polar Bear Plunge in Asbury Park. Used my Canon 50D with a 17-85mm lens. I like it for a few reasons: The movement, the action (certainly decisive, I guess), that I got AP’s Convention Hall in the background. It all came together.

And I guess I consider it “transforming” because, and I say this very humbly, those associated with the SOI Polar Bear Plunge, call it “iconic.” They use it on banners and other advertising needs. They may put it on a t-shirt one year. For them, this image illustrates their event.

I’m proud of that. And while technically this was a “spray-and-pray” shot (I held the camera low and fired away, not really sure what I would get), it transformed the way I shoot this event. I don’t always look through the viewfinder to get great action shots of the plungers now. But I know where I SHOULD be looking and where my camera SHOULD be pointing. I learned from this shot.

Frankly, I probably haven’t even shot my most decisive and transforming image yet. And that’s a good thing – it’s still out there.

But for now, this is it.

What is yours? Drop me a link to it in the comments section below.

(c)Mark Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | 2015

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