The first time we captured that first element used a
mirror, a looking glass, and froze it. Ice so clear it
picked out the freckles, the dirt and the soul through
the eyes, so well in fact fear that the glass sheet
imprisoned it, locked it away. A million portraits of
Dorian Gray are now walking around, daily putting
ourselves in stasis hoping we might wake them one day
so our youth might walk abroad. But they are frozen,
chalk outlines from the sun.
All beauty can be measured. In this case, by thirds.
Stars and clouds have their square with footprints and
waves allotted their place with a line for the marriage
of heaven and earth. This is the eye's apportioned
share. It was once imagined, now directly overlaid on
the world we capture. Where once the painter held up
a thumb, now we simply tap the screen and reveal the
symbol we then shrink and place in the comments to
add to the list of misuse.
Its a lie. 'Photo' is light, which must pass through our
stratosphere, layers of diffusion, then glances off clouds
to burst into shards of crystal as it scatters through rain
or dapples through leaves, then strikes through the
lens to be dissected by celluloid or chip. Like a food
will be strained through a sieve to part its body from
water we part the image with its place. What remains is
not honesty but no rose tint hiding that ugliness either.
What we should say is 'No Philtre'.
Leo Cookman has been writing fiction and poetry for many years. His poetry has been featured in Penguin's recent 'Poetry of Sex' anthology, Puppywolf's 'Best of Manchester Poets' and Blank Media's Blankpages magazine. He has self published three poetry pamphlets and is also very active on social media with over 5000 followers on Vine and 600 on Twitter.