From time to time, I like to read quotations about nature or the environment. Some of them are quite profound, and they’ve given me much pleasure and allowed me to re-visit my thoughts if you will…putting them back into proper perspective.
Today I came across a quote by Eric Berne who said, “The moment a little boy is concerned with which is a jay and which is a sparrow, he can no longer see the birds or hear them sing.”
I thought it is quite true that often as adults we tend to over-analyze everything, desperately trying to see more into things than they often demand. And, as we age, we tend to apply labels to things, in an attempt to compartmentalize objects and place them into little boxes our brains can easily deal with for organizational purposes.
This can be true with art and photography as well. I think many photographers, myself included, are guilty of breaking an image down into components or trying to reverse engineer the process that went into making it to such an extent, that we never really “see” the image. And this is all fine if we’re learning about composition or post-processing etc. However, we must never forget that the essence of fine art – photography included, is not to reveal accuracy necessarily, but to make our souls rise above all that we know in our daily lives. Fine art will make us feel. It will produce an emotional response and convey a different kind of truth that perhaps we don’t ever entertain except for those few brief moments while viewing the piece, taking it at pure face value, and simply allowing it to enrich our lives.
Sometimes we need to slow down. We need to stop to smell the roses. We need to see the beauty before us.