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LICP Discussion on “Evanescence” and “Confluence”

 What are the defining aspects of creative photography?...a wide-open conversation, for sure. At July 11th “Little Gallery” meeting of the LICP, I raised this question before the membership. The operative word was strange sounding: “evanescence.” What is that you may ask. The first time I heard it, I had no idea either. Members, in turn, shared definitions, which boiled down to “capturing of moments in time before they disappear.” John Micheals added another important aspect of the creative process…”light.” True…the name “photography” itself means “drawing with light.” So, it can be posited that both “time” and “light” are important ingredients. Getting back to “evanescence,” the idea of story-telling is dependent on catching a moment at the optimum time. A photograph by Henri-Cartier Bresson, shared with the discussion group, was one of a couple of legendary images taken by Bresson of a man at the peak of a jump in a street scene. Bresson, who was opposed to pre-conceived compositions, always carrying a portable camera with him wherever he went, so he’d always be at the ready. He referred to the peak time of story-telling as “the decisive moment”…and a book about his work bears that title.

An interesting comment by Phyllis Goodfriend posed the thought that all fine art photographs involve “evanescence” because they all, by their very nature, capture a precise moment that will never be repeated quite the same way ever again…food for thought.

I added that another crucial aspect of photography: “confluence,” which is the alignment or coming together of things at the same time or place. I have found that to be the most important visual tool in composing my own images.

It was concluded by the close of our discussion that the combination of “light, evanescence and confluence” were critical ingredients in the magical alchemy within the fine art of photography.

Marc Josloff

Quote of the month: ““Photographers deal in things which are continually vanishing and when they have vanished there is no contrivance on earth which can make them come back again.”

― Henri Cartier-Bresson