35. It Happens Slowly


I’m trying to unite two of my passions: photography and poetry. Actually three passions, including my typewriters.

I’ve had a difficult year, feeling no creative energy at all, and feeling no any-kind-of energy due to falling to the Coronavirus. My body, mind and spirit are exhausted, but just a few days ago I managed to get myself to the local river, The Water of Leith – which I had been documenting with photographs since August last year until the spirit weakened. I stayed for only five minutes, yet managed to come away with a photograph which gets very close to what I had been trying to do for many months before.

I have no interest in producing pretty images, or shooting landscapes that some might recognise. Rather, I want to give an impression of what it feels like for me to be there. Actually, there and not there at the same time, adrift in what we in Scotland call a dwam – somewhere between reverie and stupor, not spiritual, just lost within a moment. A photodwam 🙂

And tonight, just at the dawn of midnight, a poem emerged that gives some inkling of what Cartier Bresson called The Decisive Moment. The mechanical eye in step with my seeing eye, while for just a moment my mind had stilled.

Why the absence of colour, you might ask? The colour we see is what fails to penetrate the object we are viewing, what it is not. With the surface colour removed, the world can be seen more truly. Well, not many would agree with that. All I can say is that I feel the world more subtly in monochrome, hear its often melancholic song more clearly.

PS “Monochromatic” is intended to unite monochrome and the chromatic musical scale (somebody asked me!).

Camera: Leica M9 Monochrom. Lens: 7Artisans 50mm 1.1.



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