Do you get sent those time-wasting emails from friends asking you 20 questions, such as – what’s your favourite colour? Are you tea or coffee? What was the last movie you saw at the cinema?
You know the type of email – you then need to forward your answers onto absolutely everyone you know, including the person who sent it to you in the first place – well, there’s always the inclusion of the question “ what scares you?” I’ve always left it blank, because I really couldn’t think of anything really scary. That is, until I saw Mel Brackstone’s image entitled Splash! . I even commented that I couldn’t take my eyes off it, even though it was scaring the pants off me. I’m talking heartbeat racing, my stomach knotting up, my lungs filling with salt water! What is it about Mel Brackstone’s image Splash! that stirs such a reaction in me? Is it the harshness of the rocks, the volume of the sea, the sheer energy of that wave breaking, the deep heaviness of the sky, the limited safe dry land in the image, the water rushing toward me as I look at the image – I am about to be engulfed!
I recently read the efforts Mel Brackstone goes to in order to take these images, truly an amazing feat. I fear that nobody has invented a zoom lens long enough for me to even contemplate taking such an image! My version of “Splash” would involve 10cm of water in a kiddies’ blow-up swimming pool, taken on a warm sunny day. Yes, a little more safe, boring and mundane.
But, is that what photography (art) all about – creating an image that evokes a reaction? While my reaction to Splash!" is a little on the melodramatic side, there would be many others that find such an image to be so beautiful and emotionally positive and just the print they’ve been looking for to hang on their wall.
And do you what, every so often, I click on Splash! just to see if i still get those feelings – heartbeat racing, stomach churning, salt water…yep, everytime.
And for the record, it’s red, coffee and Shrek 3.