Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Laughing Cow Scrubber

What can you say about this picture? Or rather what can I say about it? I could analyze it photographically--composition, exposure, contrast, the brush in hand visually standing out against the cow's shadow. I could say a lot about it.

But I'll only say one thing. I like it. And sometimes, in fact, most of the time, that's enough. When you look at a picture and instantly like it, then that picture succeeds.

The only hand I had in making this picture succeed was the fact that I pressed the button as this young woman broke into an infectious smile. She's in the cow cleaning area outside the dairy barn at the New York State Fair in Syracuse, New York. She's a farm girl (okay, farm woman). And she was spraying and scrubbing her cows to show them in the dairy ring.

It doesn't hurt that she is a natural beauty. She's exquisitely fit. I didn't ask but I suppose those sleek muscled arms and flat abs come not from the gym but from farm chores.

Even more natural is her open personality and charm as she chatted with me and a barn worker while scrubbing down her cows. You simply don't come across many folks like this on the city streets.

And then there's that smile, that 100-megawatt smile that lights her whole face and beams out of the picture and throws its warmth on anybody looking at it.

What's the shutter speed, the aperture, the focal length, and ISO? Who cares? When the time is right, let the subject rule and reap the benefits.