Decisive and Transforming
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