Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Reflections on a dark pond.

  To the general public, photography has always represented a means of capturing reality, and colour serves only to enhance the illusion. For photographers, it has either been a vessel of truth (documentary) or an abstraction ( personal interpretation) but it has never been confused with reality.
                                                               Ansel Adams

Walking past a small pond the other afternoon I was attracted by the reflections from the mass of overhanging trees. Dark, still water, perfect reflections. This morning before sunrise I trotted back with my camera to see if I could capture the dark mystery and quiet mind of this reflecting water.

I quickly found that a perfect reflection was easy to capture but not the final statement in itself, but the regular drips from the overhanging branches did interesting things to the surface.Eventually I began to toss stones and record the complexity of branch patterns as they rode the waves!

This was so at odds with my original idea about the pond - this dark, quiet place – that I questioned what I was doing: should I be changing horses in mid stream? But then the squiggly active images were more visually interesting in themselves and what was my real duty here; accurate reportage or creative image making?

Today, I decided, there was time and mental space for both, they were but two out of many possible ways of picturing and understanding my subject. Two faces of this dark, overgrown, reflective water. Two major approaches to photography.

Once more my deeper life goes on with more strength,
As if the banks through which it moves had widened out.
Trees and stones seem more like me everyday,
And the paintings I see seem more see into:
With my sense, as with the birds, I climb
into the windy heaven of the oak,
And in the ponds broken off from the blue sky
My feeling sinks, as if standing on fishes.


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