Friday, February 7, 2014

Seeing a photograph

Christmas martini - photograph by Dmitrii Osipovskii  (posted with permission)
I wish I could see a photographic opportunity like my friend Dmitrii does. It was Christmas Eve and our thoughtful and generous host had just mixed another batch of Kettle One vodka martinis. I sat my glass on a table near a big, comfy recliner. As soon as I did, my friend, the photographer, crouched down nearby with his camera. He saw how the drink, the Santa, the plant and the vase combined to present him with a photograph or, more accurately, a work of art.

As Susan Sontag once said: "Photography is, first of all, a way of seeing." Add to that something that the visual art critic, Clement Greenberg, wrote: "The photograph has to tell a story if it is to work as art." Dmitrii's "martini" photo combines both of those principles. He saw in those objects a beautiful photograph and, as you look at what he saw, you can imagine the story behind it. At least I can. I was there and the martini was superb!