29 Jan 2011
Bloody men are like bloody buses-
You wait for about a year
And as soon as one approaches your stop
Two or three others appear.
You look at them flashing their indicators,
Offering you a ride.
You're trying to read the destinations,
You haven't much time to decide.
If you make a mistake, there is no turning back.
Jump off, and you'll stand there and gaze
While the cars and the taxis and lorries go by
And the minutes, the hours, the days.
I loved him with a passion
That good-byes were impossible.
Where his pain had been
There was raw grief
And I cried to him to understand.
I cried to God
I cried to the wilderness
I cried to the Universe
And then I cried to him again.
There was a silence.
Then in the stillness I heard a sigh
And the sigh became a song
And the song became an Anthem
It was the music of time
It had no melody;
It had no need of one
It was the sound of acceptance.
The feeling was of pure intensity
And it was about me and serenity
And it was about me and divinity
And it was about me and infinity
And it was about me
But it was...about Eternity.
27 Jan 2011
23 Jan 2011
When photographers talk about black-and-white reducing a picture to its essentials, I'm never convinced. Black-and-white seems to me to make pictures more stylized, more formalist, more detached, perhaps more aesthetically pleasing, but not more true.
I had this discussion with one of the twentieth century's most famous black-and-white photographers, Henri Cartier-Bresson, when I interviewed him just before his ninetieth birthday. He explained why he never used colour film. It wasn't, as was often believed, because he disapproved of it on some kind of moral grounds, but because chemically manufactured colour was so very limited in its range. He was, at heart, a painter, and the natural world contained so many more shades than photographic chemicals could even begin to formulate. He gave me an example. One of his friends, a pastelliste, has told him that at the shop where he bought his artists' materials in Paris-the shop Degas used-which was owned by three old ladies, they stocked 300 shades of green. Three hundred. Could I imagine it? The old ladies, he said, were going to die with their secret and the implication was that some of those colours would disappear forever. But his point was that some of those colours in nature are relative to each other, and there are hundreds of them. Colour photography, he said, was an insult to nature. Chemically produced colour was the visual equivalent to junk food: harsh, reductive, untrue.
Liz Jobey, Snaps in GRANTA 80.