Photography: After Observation
Posted on 2 Dec ’11 by Earl
“It is possible to interpret without observing, but not to observe without interpreting.” ~ Mason Cooley
We photographers are observers, watchers for those moments which interest or inspire us to push the shutter release and capture a “still image” of that which we saw.
Now, if you watch the TV series “Fringe” you may have an entirely differ perspective of what or who an “Observer” is, but that’s another story.
Being an observer implies, to me, a mostly passive role, yet doesn’t the act of taking a photo propel us to more than simply observing. At the point the shuttle clicks do we become something different — taking a piece of that which we observed for our own use? Is that act in itself part of the interpretation mentioned above?
Our photography and the use of those photos we make can set in motion actions along their own paths. We may be influenced by what we captured at the time, what we later envisioned or what we come to understand — to the point of changing our course, our self discovery. Or perhaps our photos, seen on the web, in a local gallery or even upon our home’s wall may slightly alter someone else’s path.
I’ve had photo’s inspire me to experiment with similar techniques or visit places I’ve never been before. Other photographer’s photos have helped me comprehend situations occurring outside my own experiences. They have on occasion inspired additional investigation resulting in changed opinions or choices. I’ve also read of photographers life and works simply because I’ve seen and liked their photos. Photo’s have power and influence.
If a photo is worth a thousand words then certainly our act of watching and creating them is beyond passive.
Just food for thought. A good weekend to all!