“We see things not as they are. We see things as we are.” — Anais Nin
This quote mirrors my thought that “we photograph as we are”. As I am preparing to depart for a long trip through Eastern Europe, I am thinking about who I am and how that will manifest in my photographs. Because of my long interest in the history of World War II and the resulting human and cultural destruction, I will be visiting a number of areas that were filled with violence and hate. This energy is the opposite of what I try to photograph. So who will I be, and what photographs will I make in these locations? The short answer: I don’t know. The deeper thought: I suspect that I will excavate a few layers in my seeing and in my soul.
In preparation for the trip, I’ve been doing some housecleaning of my files. I came across two images from last fall….images I failed to appreciate at the time so they were marked for deletion. Looking at them now I find that I am enjoying the motion and the layers in the images. The concept is not new, but I like the way the abstract nature brings forward the structure that underlies the scene. In the second image I can sense a bit of the style of the brushwork in Cezanne’s series from Mont Sainte Victoire. Recognizing this prompted me to look again at an image of a reflection from later in that same fall. In the reflected image I had immediately recognized the resemblance….why hadn’t I seen it in the earlier images?
My thought is that we see things differently as we grow, age, change, mature….or perhaps, excavate layers. I’m looking forward to fall as it is my favorite season. This fall promises to be memorable. The quote that opened the blog post has especially poignant meaning when viewed through the lens of history, especially the history of human conflict and war. I hope you’ll check the blog for images and the archaeology of my trip.