“If all your life means to you is water running over rocks, then photograph it, but I want to create something that would not have existed without me.” ~Minor White
That quote keeps coming back to me ever since I read it a few weeks ago. I’m pretty sure I’ve not created anything that meets those requirements. Do you think it’s necessary? I enjoy looking at attractive photos of other photographers and they don’t have to be really “meaningful,” but I guess that would be nice to achieve now and then. What do you think?
“From the first moment I handled my lens with a tender ardor, and it has become to be as a living thing, with voice and memory and creative vigor…I longed to arrest all beauty that came before me, and at length the longing has been satisfied.” ~Julia Margaret Cameron
Is arresting beauty enough? Or is even that too much to expect from all of one’s photos?
“A photo becomes not only an interpretation of a given place, not only an image to be appreciated for its own challenging beauty, not only a journalistic report of a given moment in time, but also an evocative release, a symbol–even at times a trigger to a stream of consciousness.” ~John Ruskin
That still seems pretty lofty but more do-able because who can say what is an evocative release or symbol to another? But don’t you sometimes just click the shutter because you want a pleasing photo and you think you might have captured it?
I mentioned all the yellow flowers around Phoenix this time of year in my Old Yeller post. The royal color is also prominent now. The flowers on the bush above are a little past their prime but the bees still find them tasty.
The showiest of the purples are the jacaranda trees. Although they are not native to Arizona (but to Central and South America, Mexico, and the Caribbean), they grow very well here and you see them often. I’d really like to have one of these in our yard someday.
Their delicate tropical leaves are almost as pretty as their huge clusters of blooms.
And another unidentified (to me) bush rounds out this tribute to the color purple.
The actual color of Tyrian purple, the original color purple from which the name purple is derived, is the color of a dye made from a mollusc that in classical antiquity became a symbol of royalty because only the very wealthy could afford it. Therefore, Tyrian purple was also called imperial purple. (Wikipedia)
All I have is junk, nothing to show photo-wise for the last week or so. I guess I’ve partly been in a photography slump but also I’ve been doing this a lot:
Yup, that’s pretty much all I did this weekend…after we went to Downtown Chamber Series…read People of the Book (excellent) and played with my new Kindle. If I had waited to buy the book on the left until I had the Kindle, I would have saved $13 right away. Meanwhile, I’m anxious to start reading on the Kindle. I’ve downloaded the first book I’ll be reading, Little Bee. I’m sure I’ll still be buying some actual books because art and photo books just wouldn’t work well on a Kindle and probably aren’t even available anyway.
But this week, I definitely have to get back to photography!
A little less than a year ago, I blogged about Dreamy Draw Dam in Phoenix and the folklore that surrounds it. To quote (myself):
“The summer of 1947 saw a rash of UFO sightings, the most famous of which was the Roswell Crash, but the central Arizona area had 2 crashes of its own that year and Dreamy Draw was the site of one of them.
The first version of the story is that in October 1947, a UFO crashed in the Dreamy Draw area. Supposedly 2 alien bodies were pulled from the wreckage and placed in someone’s freezer. The Army then carted them away. The second version speculates that the UFO first touched down in Dreamy Draw, then hopped about 10 miles to the second crash site in Cave Creek. Rumor has it that the dam was built to cover up the crash site. A large underground vault is also rumored to exist in this area. Officially, the dam was built in 1973, many years after the incident. Uh-huh.”
So we were back there a few weeks ago. In the photo above, you can see the back side of the dam which is the level area behind and to the right of the sign. You can’t hike up there (because it’s restricted) but by hiking around the park, you can see the other side of the dam, which I guess is technically the front side.
That would be the flat area toward the back of the photo between the 2 mountains. Here’s a closer look:
Well, when looking through some other photos I took that day, I was shocked to find something I didn’t see then…just like in the movie Blow Up…
Do you see what I think I see? Could it be?!?!
We receive the light, then we impart it. Thus we repair the world.
I’m reading God Is at Eye Level, Photography as a Healing Art by Jan Phillips. I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve had the book for quite awhile (years) but had previously only skimmed it. The author says:
“The real thing about photography is that it brings you home to yourself, connects you to what fulfills your deepest longings. I like to think that, wherever I look, God is right there in the image I see through the lens. There’s something holy about this work, something transforming in this search for the light. Like the pilgrim’s journey, it’s heaven all the way.”
Have you read this book or any others that are concerned with the spiritual in photography like Chris Orwig’s Visual Poetry: A Creative Guide for Making Engaging Digital Photographs or Tao of Photography: Seeing Beyond Seeing by Philippe Gross and S.I. Shapiro?
In the past, I’ve read Robert Adams (Beauty in Photography and Why People Photograph) and John Berger (Ways of Seeing and Another Way of Telling) and those books are very interesting but are a little more theoretical than I’m looking for right now.