From an early age I've made
photographs a certain way: compose and wait. The pleasure of
working this way goes back to outings with my father and his
easygoing advice on how to see ("Look for the diagonals").
Working this way means "seeking the setting" and composing
the setting as though it were the subject, then waiting for
the actual subject to appear and finish the photograph.
Kerry Trapnell's photograph captures me near the end of this
process. I'd been stopped by the arrangement of termite towers
and dry grass and took a position slightly above the scene.
Using different lenses on two cameras I made two predetermined
compositions, then waited.
The sequence of pictures shows the setting being consumed by
the subject with such intensity that new content is created.
But beneath the flames the transformed landscape is still the
In Kerry's picture I'm about to switch cameras and compositions,
but just for a moment I'm taking in the scene.