Obscurity

Copyright Ken Brady. No reproduction without express permission from the author.
(Originally published in DAILY CABAL, 2009)

When the light is just right, the wind behaving, the subject unaware, that’s when you take the shot. When the shot is perfect, that’s when it’s art. When it’s art, that’s when there are reviews, maybe raves, maybe even fame.

I don’t shoot art. I don’t shoot porn either, but I definitely don’t shoot art. Fame is not in my future.

Sitting in a tree at 11:30 pm you really get a sense of perspective. The house, the windows with no blinds or curtains, the bed in plain view and lit like a landing strip. Waiting for someone to walk past a window so you can zoom in and catch their faces.

A blond girl, topless and bronzed, walks past one window and aims for the bed. Her facial features are clear as a bell, so that means she’s nobody. I get a few nice shots for shits and giggles. Yeah, I know. Sometimes I do shoot porn. So what? We’re all perverts in one way or other. I view the images on my eyescreen and upload them immediately to the marketplace. The first offer I get in seconds. It’s a good offer. Maybe she is someone after all.

I consider some close-ups of her tits, but that’s when he enters the room. His face is so blurry I know this is a bigger money shot. These days, everyone truly important is obscured. Actors, politicians, rock stars, social media celebrities. Unless you pay their fees, royalties in advance. It’s simple: aim and shoot, and a quick micropayment to clarify the image.

That is, unless your brother is a hacker who likes to circumvent DRM on general principle. I cycle through my eyescreen menu and pull up the special functions Johnny installed for me.

A message pops up in my vision. I don’t know the sender. “I wouldn’t do that,” it reads. “You have no idea know what you’re doing.”

A moment’s hesitation. The guy in my viewfinder could be anyone. He could be a rich executive, a senator, a film director. The message sender could be anyone. He could be a talent agent, a lawyer, a cop.

I take the shot, capture the image, transfer it to my eyescreen. It takes a second or two for me to realize who the guy is. Not a celebrity, not a politician, and yet both. You don’t rise to the top of an organized crime syndicate without getting noticed. Not in the 21st century. It’s hard to live in obscurity when you’re that rich and infamous.

I upload the image immediately and wait for the death threats and offers to roll in.

Sometimes, yes, damn right it’s art.