Saturday, October 4, 2014

Contemplative Masters Series - Freeman Patterson

   More than any other photographer, Freeman Patterson has taught me the beauty of the abstract image.  He has given me the permission, in a manner of speaking, to really play with my camera, to see it as a paintbrush more than a machine.

   I have to admit that until quite recently, I hadn't been doing much in this line of contemplative image making but a cheeky frog at the pond changed all that.

   The sudden movement of the frog, and the resulting splash which disturbed the water reflection, caused me to move just as I was releasing the shutter.  I nearly deleted it thinking "Oh, that will be a blurry mess!" but instead, I took the time to look at the resulting image.

   What I saw was a symphony of color and swirling shapes and I thought, "Freeman would love this!  Surprisingly, I do too!"

   When I got home, I took out his book, Photography and the Art of Seeing and re-read the part about "thinking sideways".  He invites you to break the rules while photographing, like the one about always holding your camera steady as you make your photograph.

   Contemplative Masters allow us to perceive our world with new eyes.  They give us the tools to experience the world like we never have before.  The pond, the frog, and Freeman Patterson all conspired to awaken me to the abstract possibilities of what I am seeing.  I will always be thankful to all three of them!

"Seldom do we look sideways, that is, search for other premises or new beginnings.  We avoid introducing new factors, technical or emotional, into our photography for fear that we won't be able to control them.  A good way to break the grip of an idea that controls the way you see and photograph is to pretend that it doesn't exist.  You must break the rules."

   Think about one rule that you always apply to your camera work and then forget it exists!  Go out and spend the day breaking the rules.  You might be as pleasantly surprised as I was!



Dotti said...

Oh, this was a happy surprise! Beautiful. Surprises often make the best abstracts.

Patricia Turner said...

Oh, they certainly do! I have been immersed in abstraction ever since and I'm in love!

kimmanleyort said...

Freeman Patterson is the master of the happy surprise, isn't he? Love this image of your frog.

Patricia Turner said...

...and to think I nearly deleted it!