I remember that portrait, John. I like it a lot.
The picture on the index of my website is an important one to me at the moment. I include a thumbnail but there's a better view here For me it is full of personal resonance, but it also has a kind of classical look. The irony is, that this was very literally a 'grab' shot. It's one of a growing number of 'accidentals' that I seem to be gathering along the way – when my purpose is focussed on something else – usually the landscape or smaller outside 'scapes' - and then turned to my youngest son.
I was taking pictures of landscape, and then looked to the right to see my son in this position. I have to say my heart did leap a bit, because the whole landscape (as well as seeing him within it), looked so beautiful, in the winter early morning. (The technical bit - I couldn't take a picture with the Mamiya without taking a giant leap 10 or 20 yard backwards, so I put down the camera, and picked up the FM3a at my feet, using aperture-priority, manual 28mm nikkor lens & the film was Tri X) and got the picture before he moved – although aware of me - and there it is, a 'snap'.
The landscape is one I've known since my earliest teens. So is it a 'snap'? A self-portrait? Or a portrait? Or a landscape? Both? All? On my site I put it in the landscape section, but that was more a question of context than anything else. There's a lot of me in it, it could be seen it as a journey to my past and also my future there, with him. But that seems contrived, and seen in retrospect.
There's more in it of him – he had no direction from me but just at that moment his presence, his posture, the waves of grass, the landscape, my position with a camera and lens that could take it all in, all came together and I was lucky enough to be there. Whether I managed to capture and communicate what I sensed and felt there is another story. I like that he is looking straight at the camera. And he has known the land since he was born, he has his own claim on it. I love the way he always lies and rolls in it. That won't last for long.