I am an imperfect photographer. Imprecise and impractical. Unpractised and amateur. The frame that I form between my outstretched fingers is inconsistent, unevenly shaped, plain wrong. My astygmatic eyes frequently fail as a pin-sharp viewfinder. My nervous balance and lack of poise turn the focused to fuzzy.
I prefer a statue to a living and breathing entity, because the former is unable to shy away from my fumbled attempts at transforming it into art. Still life cannot decide to adjust its position in the same microsecond that the shutter whirs, clicks and mechanically blinks. Concrete and wood win out over flesh and bone, even though my unspoken desire would be to preserve a person in pixellated history.
In the darkroom of my dreams, shadowy profiles become powerful portraits that move the viewer to tears. In my imaginings, I am the silent yet authoritative presence obscured behind the glass of technology, who asks not for a smile daubed from cheek to cheek in the broadest brushstroke, but merely for an expression filled with truth.
So when that fleeting moment presented itself as almost too picture perfect — evenly framed, your face evocatively lit by the hazy sunlight of a spring evening, and with your skin pulsing with life and a tale told — I reached for the camera once more, in the distant hope of saving the scene for posterity. My hands carved the lens out of thin air, my eyes fine-tuned their focus and depth, my face edged closer to magnify the image, and my right index finger pressed the shutter release.
No whir, no click, no mechanical blink.
I am an imperfect photographer, but I surpassed my inexperience in the brief pause of a snapshot. I recorded a look that will last into beyond. I caught your gaze and sent it forth to live its life. Not on film. Not on paper. Not even on a screen. But here, only here. Where it belongs.