My take on the image’s specialness, was that its improbable gumdrop perfection was reached almost purely by subtraction, by noticing and excluding, rather than by adding. No decorations or lighting or models or special retouching or the photographer’s personality or wishes were injected into the scene. The subject was going about her day job preparing gift baskets, in the completely ordinary clutter of an inner city bakery’s counters and bare bulbs. The photographer’s and any storyteller’s work most frequently involves deciding what we do not include.
+++ Random pic? Email me a photo you like, a photo with a special story behind it or a photo you want to share with others for any reason. Write a few lines and provide the story behind the photo, why you choose it. No false modesty please, this is a platform open to everyone!
More concisely, the photo reminds me we go pretty far in photography, and maybe even with our friends, just by showing up, in good humor, and showing clearly.
Put yet another way, the photo cheers me, reminds me that this kind of painted-Russian-Easter-egg beauty is probably surrounding most of us, swimming by us. It makes the argument that anyone who is physically comfortable and isn’t regularly stumbling upon and enjoying these kinds of scenes, is probably not wanting to engage with the wide world, not really looking outward.
P.S. As a technical aside, the photo I wouldn’t want to show is the “default” print with the full, amusingly unusable/unpleasant sharpness of the near worthless (but unusually-low-bokeh-fringing) Minolta 50/1.7 lens. Adapted to a $200 NEX-C3 camera body. Had to use a good deal of noise reduction on the RAW file, to get that skin-scraping sharpness down to something less annoying and presentable. This is related to my regular amusement, reading about the crowds of folks fascinated with how expensive and mighty a camera and sensor they could possibly dream of buying. As if their photos in the post-Web era would noticeably benefit from (or often even tolerate) such huge resolution.
I’m all for new tools and increasing low light capability and spending money. But compared to the heavy weight improvements a 2-pound Zeiss Otus 55mm lens or bigger sensor could bring to most of us, the easy image quality that a light carbon fiber travel tripod or a tiny Ricoh GR or the simple brightness and noise controls in Lightroom 4 packs into something we can carry everywhere, feels more significant.