© 2010 Kang Reading the FT in the library

Old man reading the FT in the Library

Kodak Portra 400VC, Kilburn Library, London. September 2010. 35mm f8.

I’m not sure if this is the vaunted ‘Leica colour’ or simply just the quality of Portra film itself, but whatever the case, I like the tones. It’s sort of greenish and brownish and it really makes the FT almost shimmer. Actually, I wonder if the light bouncing off paper itself is adding to this brownish light.

So I was waiting in the library on Kilburn High Road, and sat just right across the table to the man. He was intently reading, circling every bit of important information, and it had me wondering about his investments.

So I thought the background was rather interesting, mazy was the word that came to mind, and ironic how they were DVDs and not books behind them, considering we were in the library.

There’s just alot of nice detail I think – note his specs as well – and I really watched this guy for a few minutes, probably five, but definitely more time than I would usually invest when taking photographs, since you know, I subscribe to that ‘decisive moment’ malark, but it was a rewarding outcome. I think the outcome is considered you know. It has more ‘meaning’, less of a snapshot, even if it is. Anyway, even HCB waits for photographs sometimes.

Speaking of, William Eggleston consistently waits and frames and re-frames and really thinks about the kind of photograph he wants to make, before pressing the shutter. Which is enlightening, as I think would-be photographers tend to become abit trigger happy with the process of making photographs. The thinking bit that gets lost doesnt necessarily lead to bad exposures, I think it just leads to less considered photographs. Blase. Snapshots. Forgettable.

And that brings the wisdom of the great Canadian master of constructed photography, Jeff Wall, who has said that he starts his process of photography by – very simply – not taking photographs.

And you know what, I think that’s great advice.


  1. Posted October 4, 2010 at 10:41 pm | #

    Great colour. Could be 1965.

  2. Posted June 28, 2013 at 5:08 pm | #

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