Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Singularity of Purpose

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Whenever I'm lacking for a subject to shoot, a quick detour to the beach nearly always gives me something to put in the crosshairs.   The first thing I saw when I parked was Kona scrambling furiously around the beach chasing her orange ball and I knew she would be the subject for the day.

Action shots seem to fascinate me endlessly because they really give you a glimpse into what feels like a secret world.  What is normally a blur is frozen for all time and affords us the chance to look at every small detail at our own pace and marvel at all of the kinetic energy on display in something as simple as chasing a ball.

Kona is 2 1/2 and according to her owner is part black lab and part "heeler or something".  She is most likely at the peak of her physical powers and it was pure joy to watch her do her thing.   This brief period of time when we are at our peak is so limited and we only realize it after it has passed us by.   Seeing Kona like this, I wistfully think back to my peak and chuckle at the aches and pains I feel now, even as I walked along the beach.  

Dogs at this age never seem to tire and Kona was no different.  I watched her for 15 mintues before shooting, and worked with her for another 25, and she never stopped looking like she does in these photos.  She swam, ran, jumped, dug, ran, swam, and ran some more without any visible sign of fatigue.  An older, graying hound waiting on the beach for its surfing owner provided the perfect juxtaposition to the scene as he gave Kona the occasional curious glance from a seated position, periodically being spurred on by biological urges and trying to mount her.

When I look at the photos now, I see a stunning singularity of purpose.  Nothing else exists for Kona except the ball and every ounce of her energy is spent capturing it.  When I look, I'm as focused as she is, I become a part of the scene, there but not really there, the world around me fades away....

Abruptly my reverie is broken when my mobile rings.  I look down, I have two voice messages, a text message, 14 personal e-mails (all spam), 6 work e-mails, and 4 facebook updates.   My mind races,  I'm irritated, stressed, already going in 10 different mental directions in the first  5 seconds.  My focus is shattered, I'm a mess and all I can think about is wanting to chase a ball.

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