“To photograph: it is to put on the same line of sight the head, the eye and the heart.”
Quest (def): A long or arduous search for something.
Somewhere along the way I lost myself. Fragments hidden away in childhood, morsels concealed as a teen, delicacies camouflaged here and there slowly silencing me. I forgot to look at the world with wonder and lost the ability to laugh with joy. The unique voice that was all my own was silenced and hidden.
Not to be subdued that voice lead me inward, quietly at first but growing in strength and intensity it urged me to explore beyond the confines of my experience and the stories I told myself about who I was. It lead me to books and workshops, therapists and mentors – information in all forms that introduced me to the language of my soul. I began to realize that what I see is influenced by life’s experiences and the world around me and, more importantly, that I can choose to see beyond the confines of history and experience into a world of my own creation. I learned that the world is made up of shapes, lines and colors made by light, nothing more, nothing less. I realized that since my first words I have given names to things around me so I can make meaning of them and communicate with others. I had stopped looking, stopped seeing manifestations of light and giving only a cursory look for identification purposes before moving on. I had lost my connection to the wonder and magic of seeing. The void had been made more expansive as I worked with my intellectual mind analyzing and categorizing, creating stories to make logical sense of my world. My artistic mind was left quiescent in the shadows awaiting scintillation. The alchemy of its awakening was a longing to see again with my soul. To relax my eyes, free my mind and open my heart to what is uniquely me. Then a camera was placed in my hand and I was lead into the world again.
Seeing seemed like such a simple task, open your eyes and the world is right there before you. Learning photography made me realize that there was something much more to seeing than the biology of the eye and the “rule of thirds”. As I worked on technique and learned how to operate my equipment the pictures improved but some photos still just lay on the page like a pile of pixels while others seemed to have a language all their own. I didn’t understand why I was drawn to take certain pictures, where the excitement came from when I heard a crashing wave or the peace I felt when the first light of sunrise peaked over the horizon. This new language seemed foreign to me and I desired to learn more. I wondered if I could learn to see clearly then perhaps I would find my voice again and find those little bits of myself lost along the way.
“A great photograph is a full expression of what one feels about what is being photographed in the deepest sense, and is, thereby, a true expression of what one feels about life in its entirety.”