Shortly after we started a newsletter with a small space to photographers and their stories, I noticed that an important newspaper had the same idea. Well, it’s not a new thing and, besides, we all imitate someone else’s these days.
A couple of weeks ago they published an amazing picture. The moment I saw it I understood what a photographer really is: a person who wants other people to see things the way he sees them. I knew it because I recognized the need to make people look through my own eyes. It’s a familiar feeling.
That doesn’t mean I am a photographer. To be a photographer requires a few skills I don’t have, at least for now. Anyway, that extraordinary picture wasn’t very different from the best picture I would have taken if the person driving the car where I was had just stopped when I asked.
This would be my best picture ever: I was in a car leaving the Kruger Park, so I had a camera with me. The weather was very dry and hot. I saw the man from a reasonable distance, distance enough to stop and shoot if I was heard. That man was sitting on a tiny metal bar part of the sugar cane irrigation system, high above the ground, rubbing soap on his half naked body as if he was comfortably showering at home.
A good picture results from the combination of opportunity, eyes, camera and skills. That particular day I learned that sometimes a photographer also needs the support and good will of other people.
In memoriam Ricardo Rangel.