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Trace and Opportunity in Photography


the surface is not far away, ƒ/2.0, 35mm

Again a small and side comment during a walk disturbed me. It's raining so it's a pity for you doing photography. This posed a question to myself regarding the precondition of taking pictures. Why restricting yourself to some positive conditions in order to take photographies? Especially when you witness a trace, it's an evidence of your own life.

Retouching, by restricting yourself to good setup while doing photography (e.g. sunny weather, perfect lighting or framing), is loosing a part of the truth inherent to the trace you want to capture. The picture surface was taken during this rainy walk. The situation (circular effect of the droplets) allows to set the trace in a timeline by witnessing the rain. A photography is not more readable if you have perfect surroundings or condition but when partial or disturbing elements are there to stress the witnesses.

I will continue to take my camera with me even if the conditions are far from being perfect. My perception of the traces is strongly linked to my capacity to keep the anteriority alive.

If you would like to dig more in the trace topic, the book Photography, Trace, and Trauma by Margaret Iversen (ref) is maybe one of the most sensitive work, I read, on the topic even if I personaly think the Trauma aspect is just the filter of our mind.