‘Moments’ by Sosarem
Coffee Table Book Notebook Elisabeth
24 February – The pastoral text of Fr Reuter is this: When a medical student opens his book every night and studies, he is serving God, preparing himself to take care of God’s children. (I’m actually writing this today, 28 February – I have been busy lately, editing a book. You might say: ‘A book, a book, The Kingdom for a book!’ and you may not be so wrong.)
Today, I have been inspired. This image by Sosarem (Elisabeth Charmley) is a charm, and a very, very special one. I can’t wait to tell you about it.
When I first saw it, by way of comment, I wrote this on her Flickr page:
I like the composition: the left hand leads to the book & notebook to the right hand to the coffee to the notebook and to the face that leads me (back) to the important point: The subject is studying.
Now, as I look at the photograph again, I realize that my comment is entirely inadequate, in fact I missed the point entirely.
Let me explain. Underneath the image, Elisabeth had written:
Moments like this? No! Moments about a point, on an axis or at any point you choose. Those types of moments!
Now I realize it: The subject is not studying – the subject is the photograph itself!
It’s the composition – it’s perfect. Elisabeth Charmly, you are charmed: You have captured The Perfect Moment!
In moments like this, I exult. Every Flickr fan should too.
This is a still photograph that has many movements. Easily, I can see 4; and we can follow them using 4 virtual visual portals:
(1st eye movement)
Lamp -> Coffee Mug -> Laptop -> Calendar -> Elisabeth -> Book/Notebook -> Table -> Lamp
The lamp brings the eye to the coffee mug which brings the eye to the laptop which brings the eye to the calendar which brings the eye to Elisabeth – and to what the girl is doing: studying. And back to the lamp.
(2nd eye movement)
Table -> Lamp -> Coffee Mug -> Laptop -> Calendar -> Elisabeth -> Book/Notebook -> Table
If you like, you begin with the table and ignore the lamp, being attracted to the open book which points to the coffee mug which points to the laptop which points to the calendar which points to Elisabeth which points to what she’s doing – you get the point.
(3rd eye movement)
Elisabeth -> Book/Notebook -> Lamp -> Coffee Mug -> Laptop -> Calendar-> Elisabeth
You have eyes on the girl. Very well. The tilt of her head tells you she’s concentrating not on who may be looking but at what she’s doing, which is studying. The right hand leads you to the ballpen which leads you to the open book which leads you to the lamp which leads you to the calendar which leads you to the laptop which leads you to the coffee mug which leads you back to the hand that writes, and having writ, moves on. Whose hand is it? The girl.
(4th eye movement)
Calendar -> Laptop -> Coffee Mug -> Book/Notebook -> Elisabeth -> Book/Notebook -> Table -> Lamp -> Calendar
With this 4th movement, you should realize by now that whenever your eye reaches Elisabeth’s head, she always brings you back to what moves her: to study.
Now, you may ask: Which of those 4 movements is best? My answer is: All of them. You can see The Perfect Movement in each of them. In fact you may be able to discover a few more. Here’s my paraphrase of Elisabeth to guide you in your visual exploration of photographic beauty approaching the sensual:
Movements like this? No! Movements about a point, on an axis or at any point you choose. Those types of movements!
It’s the composition, ‘the arrangement of artistic parts so as to make a unified whole’ (American Heritage Dictionary). Even the calendar is into the composition, not to mention the white wall and the soft lighting. It looks like a calendar; I assume it’s a calendar. Does it tell you the day? No. Why not? Because it doesn’t matter, that’s why! It’s only the moment that matters, dullhead. The Perfect Moment.