I am slowly editing photographs that I took during a recent trip to Amsterdam.
This is a compilation of photographs taken in front of Maarten Baas’s “Grandfather Clock,” found in the Rijksmuseum. The piece featured a structure built to look like a grandfather clock. In place of the clock face, however, played a video of a man drawing the hands of the clock, complete with changes every minute.
There is a photographer’s tale that warns of brides and grooms with tense hands. “Watch the hands,” the tale says. “People are good at masking worry in their face, but their hands always tell the truth. A bride or groom with tense hands – that’s the sign of a marriage that will not last.” It is said that only the photographers, always looking for details, notice the hands.
I have always been fascinated by people’s hands but while photographing an Alumni Day lecture by Mitch Daniels ’71 (receiving the prestigious Woodrow Wilson Award), I found myself particularly drawn to Daniels’ hands.
Now, I am not comparing Daniels’ lecture to a wedding, but that photographers’ tale came to mind as I watched him speak. Perhaps from years working crowds – and journalists – as a politician, Daniels is good at maintaining his composure while speaking. In fact, his face showed little enthusiasm and varied only minutely. His hands, however, told a different story. And so I began to photograph his hands.
I was lucky that Daniels moved away from the speaker’s podium for a Q&A session with the audience, so I got clear shots of what he was doing with his hands since he now had no paper to handle. At times, he weaved his fingers together. At other times, he played with his ring. Sometimes, he wrung his hands. He gesticulated a lot.
His hands, put simply, may say more about his lecture than photographs of his face do.
So, enjoy the details rarely seen by anyone but photographers. And in the future, remember to watch the hands.
Of course, I could not be surrounded by cute dogs and not take photos of them! Canine Companions for Independence’s dogs are all bred by the organization, and most are Labrador-Golden Retriever mixes.