In The Little Book of Contemplative Photography, the author, Howard Zehr, suggests that once a week we spend at least 10 minutes with a selected photograph and then, he instructs;
‘As you do, consider three topics in this order:
1 I see (Describe: examine each object, each detail, the light etc. Associate: what are you reminded of by the shapes, juxtapositions etc?)
2 I feel (What do you feel as you look at the image?)
3 I think (Interpret and analyse)’
The first picture is a (colour exaggerated) photograph of light reflecting from the ripples produced by the wake of a swimmer in a swimming pool.
The second picture is the same image rotated ninety degrees anticlockwise – but,interestingly, it seems to take on the appearance of a grazing animal! There is a moral here – something about appreciating that on many occasions there is more than one point of view!
‘It is Duchamp who is to blame for the whole “is it art?” debate. As far as he was concerned the role in society of an artist was akin to that of a philosopher; it didn’t even matter if he or she could paint or draw. An artist’s job was not to give aesthetic pleasure – designers could do that; it was to step back from the world and attempt to make sense or comment on it through the presentation of ideas that had no functional purpose other than themselves.’ Will Gompertz
February has the reputation for being a particularly wet month – hence the expression ‘February fill dyke’, implying that the dykes will be filled either by heavy rain or melting snow. But this winter we have received unprecedented levels of rainfall, producing extensive flooding across much of the country and bringing disruption and misery to many thousands.
Initially the ‘human’ reaction was to identify someone to blame – the local council/the Environment Agency/ the Government/ the Meteorological Office etc – but such knee jerk behaviour is unhelpful. We have limited experience of such severe weather conditions in this country and it is self-evident we have been caught ill-prepared. Nothing can change what has happened but it would be unforgivable if we failed to analyse our shortcomings and undertake appropriate action to avoid a recurrence.
‘Seeing is a creative process’.
‘Meaningful art – in any medium – is mind changing, challenging the prejudices of conventional thought. In this role, art lives between the known and the unknown, communicating what it discovers in this ambiguous territory.’
Both quotations are from Duane Preble in his foreword to The Tao of Photography.
I was reminded of this passage when photographing the snowdrops the other day.
‘We are usually only dimly aware – if we’re aware at all – of the converging of information from our senses when we experience an event. We’re so dependent on seeing that we tend to ignore what the other senses are communicating.
The photographer, the poet, the painter, or the composer who is locked into only the visual phenomena of the sunset may miss the heart of what was actually being experienced.’ John Daido Loori
The challenge for the photographer/painter is how to express and communicate what he/she feels as well as sees.
Filed under Colour, Imaginings, Just think about it!, Nature, Opinions, photography, Quotations, Sea, Shore, Sunlight, Thoughts, Uncategorized
‘Art does not reproduce what we see, rather it makes us see.’ Paul Klee
From personal experience, do you find this statement to be true?
‘Poetry lifts the veil from the hidden beauty of the world and makes familiar objects as if they were not familiar’.
Percy Bysshe Shelley
Isn’t this a useful criterion by which to assess artworks regardless of the particular artform being used? Isn’t this what the arts are ‘about’?
I first posted this poem in May of last year but, according to WordPress.stats, it has not had a single visitor! I believe that its aspirations are too important to be ignored and allowed to drift off into cyberspace or wherever. It is for this reason that I am republishing it – in the hope that its theme and thoughts might resonate in the mind and heart of the thinking reader.
Yes, the poet happens to be my wife, but this is not an act of nepotism. I find the simple verse inspirational and challenging. I hope you do too.
May I always be open to
New ways of seeing,
To the simple, the fresh, the innocent,
To children’s prattle and ingenuous gaze,
For their truth is nearer the secret of living
Than talk in high places or learned tomes.
May I always be open to
New ways of hearing.
May I roam freely in new avenues of listening
And, whatever my passions are,
May I hear caution, may I hear balance,
And may I mistrust my need to be right.
But may I trust in the open heart,
In my own inner truth,
Not caring what a fool you think I am.
Apologies to ee cummins
See http://www.margaretgill.co.uk and I hear music and there’s no-one there
To the east and north of Camber stretches Romney Marsh, a flat and low lying area covering approximately 100 square miles. For two centuries or more it has been noted for its special breed of sheep – a breed that has adapted well to the wetland conditions. Dotted through this sparsely populated region are a number of villages and small towns.
But in recent years this quiet, rural landscape has been transformed – some would say disfigured, others ravaged – by the construction of 26 wind turbines, each 115 metres (377 feet) high. They occupy an area of, roughly, 4 square miles at Little Cheyne Court. In such a flat landscape the turbines are visible for several miles. There has been, and continues to be, a good deal of local opposition to the wind farm.
Click to enlarge.
‘”HOW INTELLIGENT ARE YOU?” The real answer is that the question itself is the wrong one to ask. The right question is “HOW ARE YOU INTELLIGENT?” The difference in these questions is profound. The first suggests that there’s a finite way of gauging intelligence and that one can reduce the value of each individual’s intelligence to a figure or quotient of some sort. The latter suggests a truth that we somehow don’t acknowledge as much as we should – that there are a variety of ways to express intelligence and that no one scale could ever measure this.’ Ken Robinson
If you’ve not already done so, watch Sir Ken Robinson’s 20 minute address to the TED Conference (http://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity.html?quote=88). It is highly entertaining whilst including several profound thoughts on creativity and education.
‘Photographs are not, as is often assumed, a mechanical record. Every time we look at a photograph we are aware, however slightly, of the photographer selecting that sight from an infinity of other possible subjects. The photographer’s way of seeing is reflected in his choice of subject.’ John Berger