Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Secret of Seeing...

At the intersection of light and shadow
      We take our sight for granted.  We wake up, open our eyes, and see.  Training our eye to see "better" is often the obsession of those of us who love photography.  There are so many ways to hone our perceptual skills that it can, and does, fill volumes.  There are many excellent online classes like Kim Manley Ort's Photo by Design, which starts March 3rd.  I've taken a workshop with Kim and can recommend her methods of communicating the subtleties of the subject.  But I don't want to speak about that kind of high intensity seeing...

The literature of illumination reveals this above all: although it comes to those who wait for it, it is always, even to the most practiced and adept, a gift and a total surprise.
-Annie Dillard

   This is an important thing to consider as you try to develop greater perceptual skills.  You must always remain open to the total surprise of the unexpected, the unsought after.  You must endeavor to leave some space in your seeing to allow those unexpected images to come through.  If we try too hard to see only the great and inspiring things, the little and the soulful things often get by us and they may be the most inspiring of all. That is the true secret of seeing...


That you will learn to look
and not to look.
That you  will focus your attention
and let your focus fade.
That you will give everything to see,
the give it up
finally to be surprised
by the treasure at your feet.

- Jan L. Richardson

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