What is a photo? I mean what is about freezing time in a photograph that triggers emotions, and creative impulses? When looking at photos of people, I always look into the eyes– the proverbial mirrors of the soul to see if I can glean what is happening behind the eyes. I love old and antique black and white photos where ordinary people pose self consciously and completely aware that generation afterward, people will be looking at the image with only a hint of awareness the inner reality of the subject in the photo. After a lifetime of taking pictures, I have acquired an intuitive sense of when people want to reveal themselves for a camera. The shyness put aside only for an instant so that people can look into the lens and for an honest an unabashed moment exist within the lens and within the awareness of all who exist on the other side of that lens. It an intimacy that exists especially for photographers.
The objectivity of photography allows us to see part of the world more acutely and clearly by blocking out extraneous views. On those occasions it is plain that we barely see the world around us because there is so much to see. Leaves in a random pattern floating on water look like fine lace, mud parched by the sun looks like skin magnified many times over and so much of what we take for granted in the world around us takes on a whole new look through the lens.
Moving from micro views to mondo, it is wonder we see anything at all when you consider how much there is to see overall. The sheer size of our word and how small we are in it tells an existential story about our relative connection to the world and how we fit into the manmade terrain as well.