Is it possible for a photograph to actually capture part of the soul of the subject? Certainly some aboriginal cultures have a very clear answer to the question: Yes.
Yet, the immensely beautiful portrait above, appearing here courtesy of Benoit Paillé, may actually have a different effect, causing the soul of the viewer to slip like smoke out of its host, racing to the image out of excited recognition. For recidivist misanthropists such as Rags and me, this is a shock of the first order. We revel in the beauty of Nature most when it is unadorned by humanity. Landscapes catch our attention most often when pavement and wires have yet to imprison them. Animals call us to photograph them when other humans have passed them by, unaware of the moment.
So, when we first encountered this portrait, and many others within Benoit’s various galleries, we were stricken by the beauty and soulfulness of these anonymous humans. That our misanthropic myopia could be torn asunder, if even for a moment, is a tribute to Benoit’s gift. Combing through his galleries has given us a chance to remember that humans are children of Nature as much as any grizzly bear—especially when captured by the camera in their fleeting feral moments.
Thanks again to Benoit Paillé for allowing us to present this portrait to you. It was selected from a gallery of portraits that he has taken over the past several years, a gallery that we encourage you to visit by clicking here.