I've been thinking some more about what I try to show in my photographs. When I was working in science (biology), it seemed to me that when one finished science's discussion of something (a tree, a flower, a cat, a star) there was always something missing--something More. It's that something More that I'm after.
Another way to approach this comes from Gerard Manley Hopkins' poetry. He tried to show what he called the inscape of a thing-. He was excellent at getting at this inscape in his poetry, as in the following lines:
Glory be to God for dappled things--
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow:
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches' wings;
Landscape plotted and pierced . . .
The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness . . .
the riot of a rout
Of , , , boys from the town
Bathing . . .
with Dare and with downdolphinry and bell bright bodies huddling out,
Are earth world, air world, water world thorough hurled, all by turn and turn about.
So whether one is looking at fish or birds, a mountain or the Grand Canyon, or human beings, there is something that one sees (if one is really seeing and not just looking) that is an inscape of that being. And none of what Hopkins shows us is captured by a scientific description. There is something More here than is or even can be uncovered by scientific study (given science's presuppositions). And I believe that our education systematically and deliberately seeks to weed out our ability to see this More. Again, it is this More of things that I am usually seeking to show in my photographs.
When I read philosophy or theology now, after a short time it seems to me it's often just words about words; the writer seems to be ensnared in a tradition's or her or his own language. For me, twenty minutes meditating trying really to see THIS Cezanne, THIS Hiroshige, THIS mountain, THIS bluejay, THIS pine tree or THIS child's face is time better spent: really to BE in THIS moment, in THIS place, this here, this now leads me closer to what IS. When I can really see, then what I once read seems correct: whatever is, is holy. It is in this here, this now that I can almost glimpse the Holy One in whom we live and have our being--in which all that is has its being. And this seeing is what, when I am doing my best, I am after when I make a photograph.
So today I start this blog. What I plan to do is add photos and things I pick up from my reading from time to time, just to show what I'm doing at any particular time. My reading usually is related to photography, nature, spirituality (not so much religion), and aesthetics/art. Today I went out to look for pattern and texture to photograph, and to use my wide angle lens. I'll post some of those photos later.
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