Friday, July 19, 2013

The Composite View...

   When you look at a landscape you cannot take it all in at once.  You look right, you look left, you look up and down but you only see what you focus on, one view at a time.  The rest is only an impression, a sensation of the whole.  Somehow, you have to pull all these impressions together in your mind to create the composite view of the landscape.  It is an interesting idea...this idea of the composite view.

Photo collage by David Hockney
   The artist David Hockney is a photographer who has embraced the composite view.  His photo collages of multiple views of a single site are a very interesting approach to this dilemma.

   I think I might try this, not as a collage but as a photographic series. As each view draws my attention I would make an image.  It might be valuable to record the sequence of the views as well.  What drew my attention first?  Then what...then what?  This would create a highly illuminating map of my thought process I think. 

    What we choose to focus our attention on, and what we don't, is crucial to the contemplative photographer.  Our attention defines our contemplation.  Are you a "big picture" sort of person...making sweeping appraisals of the landscape or are you more of a "small picture" person...reveling in the details?  Each person's attention will create their "reality" of the place and all are merely composite views at best.



kimmanleyort said...

I love reading your posts, Patricia. You are like a kindred spirit to me, always exploring new ideas.

While I tend to be drawn to the details, I like this idea of the composite view and also what draws me first, then second, etc. Sounds like a good project for the lakefront here.

Patricia Turner said...

Thank you Kim! Really, the composite view is made up of the myriad details of the landscape...simply strung together into a whole. By all means, try it this summer!