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A Violinist’s Vibrato

christopher sly

It came from a split second thought, occurring at the moment the three girls broke into a run in the narrow Parisian alleyway that late afternoon, which could have been an instinctual reaction, had the visual stimuli not reached my mind, but it did, and it was only much later on after this event that I realized that in that split second my mind was able to see the picture already, as if the picture, this picture in my mind that would be taken a split second in the future, projected itself onto reality, from my mind, through the nerves and the muscles and my eyes, I somehow calibrated the proper exposure, the shutter speed that would not completely freeze the motion of the three girls but leave a slight blur to perfectly capture their essence – akin to a violinist’s vibrato that vibrates between two near pitches to give birth to the one in between – and at the same time move my arms to frame the composition, trying to move it in beat with the three girls, hoping to instill a sense of movement and excitement through a slight blurring of the background, and yet keeping focus on the expression of their faces in that split-second of pure joy and freedom of youth extended out to eternity through the medium of film, and in one swift burst, ultimately reduced to the single click of the shutter-release, that split-second was immortalized such that those who look upon this picture henceforth will experience the joy of the subjects and intuit, even if subconsciously, the path backwards: the aesthetics that hint at the conditions in which the photo was composed, that hint at how it was composed, that hint at the photographer’s thoughts and feelings at that very moment on a cool November day in 2008 as he wandered the streets of Paris, his own joy in being free mirrored in the three girls breaking into a run in the alleyway.

October 3, 2009 11:59 am

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