Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Why do I photograph?

Chro-me-um, Milford, NH, August, 2006, HP Photosmart R817, Exposure 1/525 sec @ f4.5, ISO 50, no flash © Steven Crisp [Click on the photo to enlarge]

Recently, I've been asking myself: "self, why do you take so many pictures, and then why bother posting some of them to a blog?" And here is what I told myself.

The world is an incredibly beautiful place. Certainly the natural beauty, but also man-made affairs. Indeed, just about anything can be seen to be beautiful when not labeled, not judged, and just experienced. Yes, I think even dead things can be beautiful.

Sometimes it is the scale on which you observe the world. Most of us are rushing from place to place, we don't take the time to examine our surroundings, especially in detail. Life exists on a multiplicity of scales: cells, simple organsims, plants and animals, the garden, your town, visiting a new country, earth itself, and beyond. Everything we interact with exists on all of these scales at the same time -- we can choose to examine them from any perspective.

So I guess I am consciously taking some extra time to examine my world -- with my camera at the ready. I like to look for a unique angle, perhaps capturing an everyday object up close, or an interesting pattern. Look carefully, and I think you'll see beauty in there. It is not my photograph, but the world, that is beautiful. I'm simply the recorder. All you need to do is look, and I guess that is my contribution. I'm looking, and then sharing what I see.

So that is why I photograph. Even strange things like you see below. Because -- paraphrasing a famous song -- "sometimes you're the bug, and sometimes you're the radiator", but either way, it can be beautiful. Don't you think?


Honeybee said...

I ADORE your pictures! Keep sharing the beauty! Especially the ones of insects and really capture some of the most unique shots...Howya doin put a huge smile on my face.

Steven Crisp said...

Honeybee, I certainly appreciate your vote of confidence. Don't worry - I wasn't soliciting. I was just reflecting. I intend to keep doing this as long as I have photos to share, and reflections to make.

Guri said...

Hi Steve,

I love coming to your blog because I love the eyes from which you see the world (photography as well as writing). The beauty that you see, is shared with the rest of us. Even though we may have seen the same thing very differently before. The point is we like looking through your eyes, not only does it show the beauty in the world but reflects the beauty in your own heart.

Steven Crisp said...

Thans Guri, for that lovely sentiment. It is appreciated, even more so coming from you, as I have read quite a bit of your writing, and remain impressed as always on your perspectives, your outlook, and your walking the talk. Thanks for visiting.

Hitori said...

I come here to remind myself that the world is still beautiful and worth the attention.

You are an artist sir, and I envy your gift. To be able to see what you see through your pictures is indeed a privilege.

Thank you for sharing your unique perspective with the rest of the world.

Steven Crisp said...

Hitori, thank you for the kind words, and though I am generally against "labels", I appreciate the one you attribute to me. I feel privileged to be able to share these pictures, and certainly am motivated by your interest.

Anonymous said...

I'd rather be the radiator than the bug. Or would I? ... then again I am both and I am neither. I am what the language allows me to define myself as. More beautiful pictures! Thanks.

Steven Crisp said...


"... then again I am both and I am neither."

I think you've got it. And if you wish to pick among them, you become beholden to words and concepts, and then lose the ability to be "both and neither".

It is like modern day quantum physics. Particles (which are also waves) exist in as probability densities in states of super-position, and only when interacted upon by the observer, do they devolve into the single state that you measure. This is not metaphyscis folks, it is experimenetally proven and scientifically agreed upon.

Why should our awareness be any different? Your ultimate reality is the state known as "both and neither" until it expresses itself in the world of duality.