“Graham Greene’s The Lawless Roads piqued my interest in Mexico. I took this photograph in Tehuantepec, in the south of the country, in the early 80s. I simply wandered, allowing my experiences with the camera to lead me forward. It was a heavy, muggy afternoon as I came into a white-blue plaza. I was feeling hot, a little uninspired and a little lost, when I caught sight of some children with a ball. As I moved closer, one of the boys spun the ball on his fingertip, and I sensed the shapes of the children, the blue stripes behind, and the blue of the ball, and took a few frames. Then the moment was gone.
I never know when a picture will work. With this one, I was hopeful but uncertain. The slow shutter speed that I used made the ball look like a spinning globe; the image took on a whole other dimension that I was unaware of when I took it. I love the notion that this boy in a little town in southern Mexico seems to have the world spinning on his fingertip. It wasn’t until later that I realised there was a second ball in the frame: a basketball falling through a hoop. This kind of photography – wandering the streets, exploring the world with few preconceptions – is so much about immediacy, intuition and serendipity. Rational understanding takes a back seat and the unconscious takes over.”—Alex Webb, from The Guardian’s “Alex Webb’s Best Photograph”
TWO NEW WORKSHOPS THIS SUMMER:
—Finding Your Vision: Milan, a five-day workshop in Italy in June with Alex and Rebecca. Follow this link to apply online.
—Finding Your Vision: London, a weekend workshop in June. Follow this link to enroll online.