|Clockwise from top left: Les Claypool, John Patitucci, Charnett Moffett, Victor Wooten, Robert Trujillo, Timothy B. Schmit, Mike Dirnt, Jason Newsted. Center: Michael Anthony
Over the past
with BASS PLAYER,
Art Director and
a shelf full of
and some dusty
some over the
next few columns
he can't remember
or they fail to be
Photographic moments from over the years.
IT COMES DOWN TO A MOMENT. OR RATHER, IT COMES DOWN
to the anticipation of said moment, because in terms of photography, once
the moment happens, it has happened. Gone. Finito. Expired. Photographers
are hunter–voyeurs who peek through a little keyhole into the room
where all the magical visual elements come together to form a two dimensional
plane. And those elements can be magic, or perhaps merely a magic
instant assembled from an infinite menu of possible combinations. There are
angles, and fields of focal depth, anticipation and release, and textures, times,
history, and mood, to say nothing of color, light, and shadow. Take your pick;
mix and match. There are really no rules except to try and break the rules.
All of these variables, and thousands more potentially important
possibilities, exist in three dimensions for us hunter–voyeurs to twist and wrangle
and pull through our lenses to form the 2-D compositional dramas that play
out inside the camera’s little room, until we release the shutter—and a moment
unlike any other is preserved forever.
If the subject happens to be a living, breathing human being, multiply
the list of possibilities by factors of experience, naïvete, anxiety, confidence,
hubris, trepidation, happiness, sadness, fear, hatred, or bravado. The result
can be any of a billion possibilities. It is the job of the photographer to assemble
his or her moment from this menu.
There are a couple of means to that end: careful, planned and calculated,
responsible photography, where expert knowledge of the medium is paramount
in the patient craft of image—or the wanton, scattershot approach,
involving hundreds of exposures and the desperate hope that random spontaneity
will create something unique and exciting. Try to guess which one I use.
Whichever the style, the moment will be decisive. It will pass before your
eyes and then be gone. It is up to the photographer to capture it from the
world inside the keyhole and call it art.