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Morning Fog, 4S Ranch (Infrared)

“The foolish reject what they see. The wise reject what they think.” (Zen proverb)

I initially failed to see this quote’s connection to photography (yes, I try to keep this blog on topic!) but the more I thought about it – and I guess the mere fact that it did made me think is already the connection that I was looking for? – the more these thoughts turned into a meditation and inner dialogue about a conflict in creating… “art”.

While very often I do find myself guided by intuition, only later recognizing how I arranged the elements in a photograph, I inevitably also recognize the failure to do so more effectively or clearly, and the analytical and rational thought of course leads to: “I wish I had seen that/done that on location.”

In order to make a better photograph, I must judge what I see, and think: how do I organize the information in my frame; what is essential to the expression of what I saw, what must be left away; can that which can’t be left away at least be placed in a way that its weight is reduced?

Is thinking about seeing still just seeing? :)

We recognized something intuitively, in an instant, and it’s important to hold on to it or otherwise, in this analytic mode of seeing-thinking, we might lose track. The necessary thinking on how to make a better photograph might prevent seeing things clearly. :)

Maybe this all just means that I haven’t made enough photographs yet?

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6 thoughts on “Morning Fog, 4S Ranch (Infrared)”

  1. Wow, that is gorgeous, I love infrared photography. I like the quote and your thoughts on it. I think I am somewhat the same.

  2. “The necessary thinking on how to make a better photograph might prevent seeing things clearly.” I suppose that leads to, “Don’t over think it.” :-) Some of this may resolve itself naturally over time. When we first start out I think we often focus more on thinking, we need to learn how to do things, what works, what doesn’t, often drawing from others opinions and instruction. But the more we learn, the more we practice, the more we absorb skills and vision and it starts to appear naturally, intuitively, such that we don’t need to explicitly think about something, we just tend to naturally do it.

    However, I “think” there’s still value in sometimes trying to take a step back and start the thinking process again, otherwise we risk getting stuck in ruts, falling into the same patterns over and over again. So perhaps, like nature, it’s a big cycle and it’s just a question of what part of the cycle we’re currently in. Anyway, this comment has ended up much longer than I’d expected. I do love that quote, it had me pausing and thinking. And I love the photograph, the lighter tones on just those specific bushes and falling off into a misty golden background.

    • I can see that this whole thing made you think just as much as it did me! :-)

      You are right, eventually the things we’re struggling with become second nature with practice, and it’s always a bit of a back and forth too, to not get stuck in one and the same routine.


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