Movement with nothing added... but time.

July 28, 2018



I find, again, that while agreeing the text for magazine articles on "How to walk" is easy, choosing the accompanying images is a very different matter.


The editor will be happy to publish written advice on how to walk with poise and elegance. But her default for choosing the accompanying images will be that the subject is not so much 'walking' as 'WALKING': striding forwards with wind-milling arms and a look of desperate purpose.


When I submit images that show "best practice" I find myself imagining the editor's unspoken reaction: "But... that person isn't really DOING anything!"

It is then that I am reminded, again, of how movement that is efficient appears quite unremarkable. The poise and economy of effort that it involves cannot attract attention as much as the slightest limp or the most unnecessary of head-long dashes.


I therefore treasure images that both show economy of effort and that hold the eye. And none more so than the accompanying photographs from Deborah Caplan's 'Back trouble' (Triad Publishing Company, 1987).


In the image on the left the lady is lifting the book in a way that most of us might. For some reason we would allow moving that slender tome to literally "knock us out of shape".


In the image on the right, by comparison, she is lifting the book... and doing absolutely nothing else. I have to admit that I find the image enthralling. Like in a line from the Tao Te Ching she isn't really doing anything, and yet everything necessary is being done.


She has added nothing to the task. Although you get the impression that, when circumstances allow, (and to paraphrase the Bulmers Cider advertisement) she might be adding nothing but time.




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