FEELING IS THE THING THAT HAPPENS IN 1000TH OF A SECOND
BY CHRISTIAN RYAN, RIVER RUN ,
The title might be a tad unwieldy, but that probably comes from this book’s intent – in examining the works of noted cricket photographer Patrick Eagar, Feeling is trying to convey the power of these images in words.
Ryan, one of cricket writing’s foremost stylists, retraces the course of Eagar’s work over the 1975 season. This period was bound to produce – and apologies for using the shop-worn term – an iconic set of pictures, as the figures of Thomson, Greig and the Chappells radiate off the page. We remember the time as one where television made its move in cricket to become all-consuming; it’s something of a reminder of photography’s power to capture the moment. It’s a theme of another superb cricket book from the past year, Gideon Haigh’s Stroke Of Genius, which went into the history of George Beldam’s enduring photo of Victor Trumper, “Jumping Out”. In an interview with Inside Sport, Haigh noted the essential difference between viewing the still image versus the moving – with the photo, the viewers bring their own meaning to the image, rather than being told. It holds true with Eagar’s ’75 pieces – you can see Viv’s confidence, Dougie being laconic, Dickie Bird’s levity. The feeling may happen in that split-second, but the effect is longer lasting.