“Make visible what, without you, might perhaps never have been seen.”…Robert Bresson
I came across this quote on a friend’s website yesterday and it resonated with me. After all, we as visual artists and documentarians, often capture what others don’t see – and by doing so, we make things in this world visible to many – if we share our pictures, that is.
I’m often struck by the comments of non-photographers when they see my intimate studies of things – surprise, amazement, wonder. And it makes me wonder ‘how did they not see it, too?‘ But we all see differently – in terms of what we take in and process through our ‘filters’. For me, seeing the designs of our world, the intimate pieces that make up the whole, just comes natural. At times, I see the tiniest, neatest things in nature, like this bird-nest fungus growing in the mosses in southeast Alaska. Yet when I look at the work of some of the fantastic studio or table top photographers, I marvel how some of them can take an orange, a fork and a milk carton and turn it into something amazing! That takes inner seeing, imagination, and I just don’t see it for those types of subjects. Perhaps if I stayed with it long enough I might, but I’m geared internally to respond to the outside world with my inner vision.
Speaking of sharing your vision, if you own a Smartphone or Iphone, here’s your opportunity to have a portfolio of your work on it from Ifolios – and get $20 off the price, using the coupon code THARP. Check them out at http://www.ifolios.mobi. And if you want to see how one looks, check mine out by going to brendatharp.com on your smart/iphone. I’m very pleased with mine.
That’s what I think too. I like the term ‘resonates’ because if one person can have an emotional reaction to a scene or a visual metaphor then other people can too. Sort of how another persons sad story can be heart wrenching to others even though we may have never experienced what they went through. I think you have to be passionate about something to make it resonate otherwise it comes out flat. But I think being an artist means doing something just because you love doing it. I havent figured out why people, including myself, put certain icons up on a pedastal however. Maybe it’s because their photos fetch such large prices?
If you learn to see how somebody else sees, or learn from secondary sources instead of raw experience, does it make the image less valuable?
I don’t think so Kalani – because we still are expanding our mind and vision by what we learn. At some point I think we all take what we’ve learned out into the world and in the process of applying what we’ve learned in terms of seeing, we are now experiencing something.
Thanks, Bob. Yes, I agree, different POVs is what makes sharing our photography interesting! In addition, I like that non-photographer types see the work here and there and, hopefully, it makes them open up to the beauty of things around them a bit more.
Variety is the spice of life and all that. If we all thought the same, what a boring world, eh? I for one appreciate your unique approach and compositional skills. Taking in the unique POV of fellow photographers is one of the best things about photography!
Not easy to get around your website from an iPhone. I keep getting directed to the Smart phone site which does not contain the content I want to see.
That’s because you know what other content there is to see from the regular site, perhaps. The ifolio site is supposed to be a quick-look ‘gallery’ of images with a little ‘about’ and ‘contact’ info. Sort of like a beefed up Gallery from Me.com. The problem is that most websites are not designed well for the smartphones, and if you have flash, it doesn’t work at all on the phones. With my regular site, viewing it on the smartphones was challening to get around, even though I’m completely html based on my site; and the image viewing in the portfolios was not good. But you raise a good point, Jeremy – in that there’s no option here – if you try to view my ‘regular’ site, on a smartphone, you won’t get to it! I will contact these guys about that to see what options there might be. I like the iphone site for simply showing quickly some images, and hoped that people would go to the regular site when back in front of a computer…always a work in progress, eh? thanks for sharing.