July 16, 2005 by Allen George
What Do I See?
Ironic that I choose this topic. As I write this I’m acutely aware that:
- My wrist hurts alot and is constantly seizing up.
- I haven’t posted a photo – heck – even looked through a viewfinder in months.
- Entry posting is sporadic.
Sometimes you’d rather not dwell on what you’ve failed at. What you’ve let slide as days pass by.
I have a hard time pinning down how I view the world. Since last week however, I’ve been more “mindful” as I walk to and from university. If something – an image, event or person – catches my eye, I immediately as the question
“What was it that got me?”
I believe that as photographers improve their vision, they start to see the world through a viewfinder frame. I haven’t developed that skill yet, but I can imagine it being enormously powerful. It allows you to evaluate a scene and start stripping out the non-essentials. Articulate what it is you want to see and reduce your photograph to that.
It’s harder than it sounds.
I’ve had flashes of that myself, but it’s sporadic; prone to occuring at the oddest of times. As I walked down to the University Ave. Second Cup to meet a friend, I glanced at the sky. Don’t know what it was, but the interplay of the light from the setting sun, the clouds and the color of the sky combined to create a powerful scene. And I saw the perfect picture for me – this riot of color framed by a house and an apartment building. In that moment I knew how the photograph would look; could see the outlines of the frame.
I didn’t have a camera.
Sometimes establishing what you don’t like photographing is simpler. Not for me the world of flowers, insects or animals. I don’t see the attraction in them and often find myself … lacking … when I see photographs of those subjects.
[To be continued]