Seeing in Metaphor
At the risk of sounding repetitive (as my students will most surely attest…) one of the most
significant journeys of the past few months has been the importance of metaphor…in the
feelings, subject and symbolism inherent in our photographs.
I have become more aware of metaphor and my emotions inherent in my work of
late; I attribute this to the expansive experiences teaching the subject this summer and the
recently concluded Block Island in Black and White Photography Workshops. In the thread of
my creative work, I have wondered why some subjects appeal to me more than others in
various times in my life.
Lately, it is the vanishing rural wooden architecture in our countryside. Barns, chicken
coops, sheds and their accompanying foundations, stone walls, rutted dirt roads and ancient
trees in my eyes all have presence and personality. The documentarian in me photographs
to preserve; the artist in me makes a personal relationship to the same with a more intimate
connection. There is the emergence of the abstract; a cloth caught on a nail, a bit
of rusted hardware forming the features of a face. This is playful for me; I attribute this
growth to trusting in the process, with a more practiced eye, going with the flow;
not attempting to make connections that do not exist.
Whether intentional or
subliminal, our photographs are reflective of our emotions and present life conditions. Many
times, the inference will be beyond our understanding; changes show up in our dreams and
creative endeavors long before they become apparent to our conscious thinking. Yet, there is
a constant presence that is interwoven in all of the subjects I embrace. I recognize this as an
achievement; a threshold crossed, to know that although I am intrigued with many subjects
and genres, it is the inner me that sees.
Metaphor and the exploration of feelings is an infinite well of creativity. I applaud my
students’ embracing a new visual and emotional language.
Our journey continues,