The Gift of Seeing
The other day, my friend Suzette commented: “How do you see this way?”
I have been thinking about that question ever since. How and why do I see the things I see? Why do my internal filters hone in on the things they do? Why am I sensitive to certain visual stimuli, while ignoring others?
The thing is – I ask myself the same question about Suzette’s work, as well as the work of all of you. How do you see what you see? And then capture it in such a way that I gasp in amazement and shake my head in wonder at the world as seen through your eyes. (And if I am completely honest – there is also a tiny stab of envy at what you can do that I can’t; what you see that I don’t.)
I don’t really have an answer to Suzette’s question. My own “seeing”, what I choose to put within the frame, is often mysterious and magical and intuitive. It is also a building-up process – each time I notice a shadow, that interplay of light and shade, or turn my lens on the distorted refractions of a reflection or gaze upward at majestic architecture, I become more and more attuned to finding those things everywhere I look, in whatever direction I turn.
What I do know for sure – when we enjoy the work of others, photography provides the opportunity to temporarily see as others do; to literally experience the beauty of the world through the eyes of another.
And what a gift that is to give each other, isn’t it?
And speaking of gifts, the above image was taken at the Ohio State Reformatory, a historical prison, during a recent photo walk with my online (and now in-person friend) Deb Tisch, of Learning as I Go. Next week, for May’s edition of the Third Thursday Challenge, I will write more about my first-ever joint photo-walk experience.
What will your challenge be? Remember – there are no rules; simply share with us whatever scares you or challenges you or intrigues you. You and your art will be better for it – as will all of us who will be inspired by your journey.