Sunday, June 9, 2013

Be there

There was an article in The Boston Globe recently by Deborah Kotz called “Cure for distracted mind: Stare at a painting,” and it gets to the heart of what I find so interesting about the process of photographing. In the article, she cites research about how we’re less focused today because of the wealth of technology that we’re each attached to, but that if you stop to look at a painting for three hours it helps to retrain your brain to notice details you might not have seen before.

It sounds like something we could have figured out without a study, but it’s always good to have science back up what you already knew. When I go out with the intention of taking photographs, I know immediately that I will probably find something I didn’t expect to find. The act of photography means that my brain is now attuned to the world around me, and I go where the lines, or motion, or light tell me to go.

I went out the other day to shoot some intriguing tree roots, (another post for some other day - but here's a preview to the right).

Along the path was what I thought an uninteresting flower garden. But when I passed the garden I noticed a bee and I stopped to capture it. It turns out that the more I shot the bee, the more interesting things I found in the garden. There were unbelievable petals, rich with character, one folding over another creating a roller-coaster of lines and color. Intertwined in those lines were polarizing lights and darks, insects, flowers and life. I was pleasantly surprised at the diversity of eye candy in this unassuming little plot.

So, that’s what happens when you just follow your bliss, your instincts, your world. So far, my experience tells me that everything is photographable. And almost everything can be interesting. But take the time to see it. Be in it. Stay.

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