Tim, Guitar

Tim plays guitar at Cafe Ipe Lounge, Encinitas, California. February 2012.

Tim plays guitar at Cafe Ipe Lounge, Encinitas, California. February 2012.

Tim is one of Shuwen’s co-workers, and he occasionally strums some chords on Saturday mornings at a local cafe in Encinitas. We went there to hear him play and enjoy some good coffee (and the place certainly delivers!), and I brought a camera with me. After making some eye contact with him he signaled that he’s fine with me making photos, so I began to sneak around him with the camera while he played, trying to capture the feeling.

Now, what strikes me about this image how it transports the feeling. Tim’s playing rhythmic guitar, it’s very contemplative and soothing, and it just fascinates me how a “contemplative silence” seems to emanate from the photograph, even though he was passionately playing the guitar. I also quite like how this frame worked out, compositionally, forming a fibonacci spiral at the lower left corner, beginning with his left leg, over his arm and body, that leads all the way in to the brightest spot in the frame – his hand, with a band-aid on it (I like this little detail – it says a lot about his passion if he puts a band-aid on his finger so he can continue playing), frozen in time while strumming chords.

The fact that his eyes are covered by the dark shade of his cap and are invisible add to that, leaving the entire focus and attention on the hand hovering above the strings in this dynamic, upward position – which makes the photo more about the instrument, and the music, and what he is doing, fully focused, and less about the person itself.

I am fascinated by that, and this has become one of my all-time favorite images, while I consider myself a landscape & nature photographer… :-)

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