A Moment of Rest


“A photography arrests the flow of time in which the event photographed once existed”

John Berger

I saw the above sentence reading a book by John Berger called “Another Way of Telling”. It reminded me immediately of this photograph which I took a couple of weeks ago, reviewed, and couldn’t get out of my head.

The bird flew back and forth in the trees and bushes near the water. I couldn’t get too close due to dense vegetation, nor could I get a good focus on the bird. I used both my camera and binoculars, but he moved too fast. I photographed this brief stop with the camera after which the bird moved so fast to the next perch my mind and eye could never have registered what the camera captured.

I am so glad it did. The beauty of the bird stopping for a moment, the shine and patterns on the feathers, and the pose as it apparently looks for its next perch catch my attention. I made a few guesses as to its species, but for this instance they really don’t matter. The whole experience of watching it, and the camera enabling me to see this very brief moment matter.

That is what we do in a lot of our photography. We capture and freeze a part of a second of life, and that life immediately continues on.

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