This photograph was taken in Umhlanga a while back during a holiday. The two figures are my mother and her friend, who braved the chill of the early morning waves. I still remember how the light rain felt on my skin, as I stood on the edge of the beach watching them (while trying to keep my camera dry with my jacket.) I’m glad I stayed behind this time to just enjoy the view, because otherwise I wouldn’t have taken this photograph – and it’s the one that I love the most from that trip. I find there’s always an element of compromise when it comes to capturing a memory versus participating in it fully. I’ll never know what the water felt like at that moment, how alive they must have felt while all around them was ocean. But if I did know, I’d never have witnessed this, I wouldn’t be writing these words right now. It’s a compromise. Sometimes, it’s worth it.
(Unrelated to the above musings: it’s been incredibly long since I last posted, and I honestly have no excuse. I won’t go into details now but things are in the pipeline and hopefully it won’t be long until I’m updating regularly again.)
I love street photography. One of the reasons is because it takes no preparation, all I have to do is go somewhere. It doesn’t rely on me as it does on the people I may encounter. It’s refreshing and completely spontaneous. Typically I like to ask the person for permission before I photograph them. Some people argue that a candid shot is better, and that the shot is ruined once the subject becomes aware of the photographer. Personally though, I really love the connection formed when I do ask. Although I get nervous every single time, I regret it much more when I don’t ask than when I do. It’s much better to awkwardly ask someone if you can photograph them (and accept it if they say no), than to know you let fear stop you from trying.
This particular image was taken on one of the first trips I made, photographing strangers, and it’s still one of my favourites. I love her expression, and her hands.
Taken with Ilford HP5 Plus, on a Pentax MZ-30. Self processed and developed.