picturesque

“When I ate my lunch on a bench outside the library, they thought me particularly picturesque, and photographed me on purpose.”

—Elizabeth McCracken, The Giant’s House

What makes a subject visually interesting? Charming? What draws us to make pictures like these? In this case, the photographs are not of anything particularly striking, and still they are about something meaningful. I had the opportunity to walk with a new young friend and we made pictures together. The idea was that I might mentor her in some small way, but I am certain I learned more from her than the other way around.

I enjoyed the interaction and the chance to make pictures for the simple joy of it. But if pressed, I would surely have said there were no “good” pictures — nothing worth saving. And I would have been wrong. My judgment is much too harsh, or perhaps the criteria are wrong. Now that I look again, I find beauty.