"Photography is not like painting," Henri Cartier-Bresson told The Washington Post in 1957. "There is a creative fraction of a second when you are taking a picture. Your eye must see a composition or an expression that life itself offers you, and you must know with intuition when to click the camera. That is the moment the photographer is creative, Oop! The Moment! Once you miss it, it is gone forever."1
Driving through Little Haiti, Overtown, and Downtown Miami to avoid traffic and construction, I developed an obsession with the people, colors, and environment that defined my drive to school and work. Like T.S. Eliot in his poem “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” we both found ourselves seeking to connect to an unfamiliar society, longing for acceptance.” I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each / I do not think they will sing to me” (124, 125) 2.
Fifty years later, my images like those of “The Americans” by Robert Frank, reflect a similar perspective of America yet now embodying the cultural integration that is characteristic of the 21st century. Originally from Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, a monochromatic steel town, I was transported out of the gloom and into the glitter. “What are you looking at Cracker?” was my welcome.
And I have known the eyes already, known them all-
The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase
And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin
When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall
Then how should I begin. (55-59) 2
“There will be time, there will be time / To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet (26, 27) 2.
1) Henri Cartier-Bresson, 1908-2004, The Acknowledged Master of the Moment By Adam BernsteinWashington, Post Staff Writer, Thursday, August 5, 2004; Page A01
2) The Love Song Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, T.S. Elliot, The Norton Anthology World Materpieces, 1999