Tuesday, June 03, 2008


Back in my sophomore year of college when I was taking the intro to photography class that started me on this crazy path, my photography teacher Cade White told our class that sometimes he would find a frame when he was reviewing a shoot that he didn't think he had nailed, but had. He described it as feeling like God pushed the shutter button down for him. I have had a few moments that I have captured on film or digital sensor like this when I am striving for a moment, but am not sure if I caught it just right or whether a certain element is fixed perfectly in place until I look at my take later. It's not until then that I fully realize what I have. One of those moments occurred last month during a butterfly release ceremony in downtown Midland. The event was sponsored by a local hospice center, with the idea being that those attending could purchase a butterfly and have the name of a deceased love one read aloud during a ceremony and then everyone would release their butterflies at the same time. I had singled out a mother and daughter because the little girl was so precious was so interested in the insect in her plastic cup as she waited to release it. When the time came I shot plenty of frames of her, most of them just missing the moment and then stepped back and noticed her mother was one of the last to let her butterfly go, having had some trouble opening her container. I saw the butterfly emerge and snapped a few frames off again and then took some wider shots of everyone looking to the trees for as the little insects landed all over the place. It wasn't until I got to my truck and looked on the back of the camera that I realized I had the butterfly in the frame and furthermore, highlighted by the sun shining through the trees. While I think I could have composed the photo a little bit better, I feel like a got the the moment. The woman's face and the position of the butterfly are what makes the photo for me. Sometimes we just react to what we see, and attempt to capture a moment that can tell the story and let the viewer in on a moment of time they would never have seen otherwise.


Laci said...

wow Gary, that is incredible! And I think it's composed perfectly! Great job, "HIGH FIVE!" hhaa! It's a beautiful moment.

Stina said...

I didn't even notice the butterfly at first. What I thought you were going to say was that there's a beam of light in the empty space in the crowd, almost as if it's highlighting someone who is not there, or rather, there, but not visible.

I would like the photo better with a vertical crop, with the lady in the bottom third and the butterfly in the top. But I'm just an amateur, and newcomer to your blog. I am a former Wildcat, though, so maybe that counts for something.

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