If I open the eye in my mind, there is always a photo, always a story. A photo is a story, or a part of a story. We hear of people in our lives, that are incredible visual artists despite the fact that they, may be sight impaired.
As a child, I found it difficult to understand how Helen Keller accomplished the things she did. I have come to believe that Helen Keller was capable of vision in her mind. I am speculating that this mental vision in our minds is shared by all humans. Despite that some of us have limited faculties, regarding sight, hearing and so on, I think that people like Helen Keller, in their 'mind's eye' can see and hear.
I believe that this 'mind's eye' is the creative human attribute, that makes us unique on the planet.
I am guessing that this is the human trait that produces incredible inventions, art or good. I believe that it is also the attribute, that when used to evil goals, enables us to wage destruction on a horrific scale.
Coupled with this mental ability, is our physical ability to create and use tools. Applying our imaginations to the practical tools we possess, makes the process of creating even more acheivable.
I believe that as children we are educated and trained to learn the basics. We are regimentalised to 'think inside the box'. I think that is necessary in order to learn how to read and write, and learn many of the skills that we need to possess, in order to succeed in our lives.
I also think we need to impress upon our students, our young, the importance of learning to 'think outside the box'.
I am speculating that the ability to think outside the box, is the mental ability, that allows people such as Helen Keller, to achieve in the manner she did. I am saying that in spite of the amazingly talented teachers she had, if Helen herself had lacked the 'mind's eye' in her mind, that her success would have been limited or lacking.
So how does all this relate to this image? This image is a totally outside the box image. It is an experiment. I had absolutely no idea when I adjusted all the settings in the camera to the extremes that I did, that it would be a viable image whatsoever.
That is why to me, this is a good image. It is a good experiment.
A lot of the things we do in the pursuit of photography, are things that cause us to experiment. Exercises that, in their execution, that is in the 'doing', we experiment. We learn in an unconscious or subtle manner, to stumble upon, or learn to 'think outside the box'.
That is the value of photography projects like 100 Strangers, or 365 Days. Those projects require us to step out of our comfort zone.
That is the reason why I like what 'Lampshade Light' exemplifies. It is not important to me just because I took the photo. It is important, because of the lesson learned, when you do something that you hadn't been taught or told to do.
The other nice thing about this image, is that it is okay to look at. Some experiments that I learn a lot from, don't come out looking good at all.
For my part, the 100 Strangers Group Project is at Stranger #34 or 35. I'll get my 100 Strangers done before I start the 365 Days Project. I already have learned a number of techniques from Dustin Diaz' 365 Days Project, which he just completed yesterday. Coupled with the techniques that I am learning from my own Night Crawl Set, my personal project, and the 100 Strangers that I became invloved in last August, I will be in good shape to start the 365 Days Group, sometime this year. Starting is admirable, but finishing is the goal. The old tortoise and hare fable is apropos here, I think.
Happy New Year, welcome to your life in the year 2010!
Click on the image.