We were visiting friends when their elder daughter, whom we like very much, suddenly started asking her parents about how words are written. She knew how letters and combinations of letters sound and how they look when written down, but she’d never equated the two before.
A few words of explanation from her parents and – to the vast astonishment of everyone present – she just started phonetically pronouncing words and then writing them all over large pieces of scrap paper on the floor!
I had my camera to hand, and a unique occasion was recorded. This is not a good picture photographically, but in this sort of instance that doesn’t worry me at all – and I love her tentative, slightly doubtful expression.
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Technique: D700 with 105mm Nikkor lens; 3200 ISO; south Bristol; 26 Apr 2009.
UPDATE: yes, photographically, in technical terms, this is not a good picture. But it is nevertheless a very valuable picture, and especially so to the girl and her family – here is a fundamental achievement on her part, a fundamental moment in her life. Which feeds into one of my core beliefs about photography – that by far the most important aspect of an image is its content – have interesting / striking / meaningful content, and the technicalities come a very, very long way second.
So, ok, let’s turn this on its head. Here’s a meaningful image that is technically imperfect. Who would rather have a meaningless image that is technically perfect? .