In a boundless world full of life and people and action and movement happening in an endless constant every instant, my task feels simple: fill a 2 x 3 rectangular frame, and capture. It’s entirely my choice what to fill it with, and the possibilities are delightfully endless. You can add–or subtract–anything your heart desires. Color. Contrast. Intense, sharp drama. Sparkle. Beauty. Excitement. Sweet, nuanced emotion.
When you’re holding the camera, you’re in charge, which means you have complete control of the orthogonally shaped box where 22.3 Megapixels will be swiftly preserved in multitudinous quantities. I painstakingly pick what’s special and what sits inside my picture. I create the rules. I choose the light, the tone, the angles and the presence or absence of any and all form. Then, later, I alter and meddle until it’s exactly what I want, until it’s precisely how I envisioned it in my head. It can be an exhaustive undertaking.
I’ve done it for so long that it’s now familiar on an instinctual level; I know how I prefer the smallest details in minute ways I could never verbally convey. It’s ambling into a room and surveying the light like it’s a tangible object. It’s immediate, automatic previsualization for composition and the slight, specific angles I hold the camera, in a manner that doesn’t even always make sense to me–but sometimes you just know, and it just feels right. It’s the way I can work my Canon with my eyes closed (and, once, inebriated, but I’ll save that story for later).
I drag the bundle of pixels into Photoshop and begin my surgery. Observe the mess and mayhem. Begin work. Spot remove the imperfections. Adjust the color balance, smooth things out. Scrutinize. Carve out the important pieces; let the rest melt away. Make it clean. Precise. Intentional.
I find an absolute perfectness in the chaos of it all: the way the human face and figure will never be exactly symmetrical. How ordinary light can create enchanting and extraordinary photographs. The way nothing can be replicated ever again. The feeling you get when all the elements come together faultlessly and are captured exactly as you envisioned.
The odds of getting a flawless, immaculate shot are almost none, and yet I still wake up every day in search of another, no matter how elusive. It’s an art form of creation not quite like anything else, and it’s become a part of who I am. And for a girl in a constant strive for perfection, sometimes, during brief moments of magic, she achieves it, and contained within the lines, according to her, is something beautiful. Something perfect.