I brought a film camera to Cuba last year for two reasons. For a week I wanted to leave behind all the trappings that surround digital (charger, batteries, hard drives, cables, laptop), and be free to go from photographer into mojitos and the non-stop river of adventures, without sinking into the time abyss of editing. The second reason, truthfully, did not become clear until I was in Cuba. At sunset along the Malecón, Havana’s vibrant seaside walkway, teenage boys were leaping into the water, showing off to each other and their girlfriends. They would run at full speed towards the concrete wall, leap blindly up, over, and into the sea, and then swim back to do it again. And again. It was then that I reconnected to the idea of “now”. When to press the shutter . . . now.
The same sensibility kicked in thirteen years ago when my son was wobbling down an Avignon alley. His foot rose up . . . now.
Or standing in an autumn stream, waves being tossed as they hit hidden rocks. When do I push the shutter? Now.
Just a week ago, back in Havana, a dancer leap higher than I thought humanly possible. Lying down to accentuate his leap, I waited for the moment.
We arrive at a place, attack it with the technical onslaught of auto-bracketing, motor drives, and continuous shutters, often disconnected from the idea of what might unfold. My Malecón moment brought me back to a time-tested path. Pay attention, become the leap, become the little foot, become the wave, press the shutter. Right now.