Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Sparks from the Core: Trolley Square

I have been reading a book by a famous photographer named Henri Cartier-Bresson. It is a memoir with alot of notes and opinions on photography. He is considered one of the fathers of photojournalism, although this beast and it's true function are somewhat in flux. When photographing a story it is important start with the core, which is the pure subject you are photographing. After giving it priority and the majority of attention one should move outward and document what Bresson calls "the sparks that strike off the core" to reinforce and compliment the first image. After seeing photos from Monday's shooting in papers and websites across the nation and globe I believe the core of this tragic event has been captured and preserved in all its misfortune. Tuesday at the newsroom was just as busy as Monday night. I headed out Tuesday afternoon to photograph various few press conferences and other events and assignments tied to Monday's shooting. Later in the afternoon I was sent to the gunmen's home in Rose Park. Local and national press were there as well staking out a home they were starting to believe was void of any people, let alone someone to interview. I hung out for awhile and made some photos of neighbors talking to the press, then some generic photos of the home and neighborhood. A cameraman pointed to the front fence of the home where a small silver chain with an oval medallion hung at the bottom. I walked up and got a closer look, it stood out and shined especially against the contrast of a rusty oxidized fence pole. On the charm was Mary, the Mother of Jesus with writing to the effect of "Pray for Us." A neighbor brought this medal to the fence early Tuesday morning. As I knelt down and took the photograph of this seemingly insignificant detail I knew it wouldn't run in the paper but I photographed it anyways. Earlier that morning on talk radio the Governor remarked that today "was a day of healing" for Salt Lake. I was not there and didn't get the opportunity to talk to this neighbor and ask her what her motive was for leaving this small emblem, but I feel it safe to say it was left in the spirit of healing, forgiveness and compassion for this young man's family. This "spark" off the core seems to symbolize how we as a community can deal with what has happened. I had been on the story since Monday night and was starting to feel a little overwhelmed with all the details and facts that were regurgitated every few minutes through the news, or conversation or even just the looks in peoples eyes around the city. As small as this "spark from the core" might be, it brought me a starting point for emotionally and mentally sorting out the entire event. If I was able to add to what Bresson wrote, I would have to say that documenting the details, the "sparks", not only reinforce the core subject, but can direct how we should feel and in what direction we are to go with those feelings.


ET said...

I have been looking for your comments and impressions from the past few days. You did not disappoint! - ET

Kim said...

I really like this mike. I know, it's vague. But, it's true.