This is not a photograph

It is a capture. A photograph means or at least gives the impression that it is an intended record of something. The subject of an image is as much what captures an image as what (or who) the image captures. Unlike a photograph an image is a capture.

Consider the following image in its three moments. First, a group of kids in Istanbul's Balat neighbourhood notice me with my camera and decide to give a collective pose. This is quite  common in many cities such as Istanbul, Cairo, Beirut, and Delhi, which I find enchanting.

But in this case one boy gestures towards me and expresses something that he wants to do by coming toward me. I release the shutter (top right). Then he starts running toward me. At this second moment I am not quite sure what to do and how to react. I release the shutter again (bottom right). These two moments are still not quite extraordinary.

The third is both lovely and surprising. He either wants to see the image in the camera or wants to look inside the camera. So he leans towards the camera. Again, not knowing what to do I release the shutter (above). It produces what I mean by image: a capture. That image is no longer a photo but a capture – it captures a subject that I did not foresee, intend, envisage, plan or even anticipate (a curious boy) and a subject who does not know what to do (me).