I started writing down ideas and quotes and diagrams and just about everything that I found interesting about photography that I wanted to remember in a Moleskine notebook about two years ago. I am at the end of the little black book and am going to need to go get a new one this week. I like having all of the little tidbits of everything all in that little book. I don’t know how I am going to deal with carrying additional ones with me once I have been writing in them for a while. It is just the right size to put in a pocket, or camera bag and has lines that are just right. I have always had a pet peeve with the lines in journals. Mostly they are too thick, too dark, and don’t match up on the other page. My notebook has faint grey lines that match to the lines on the opposite page allowing me to write all the way across if I want to. It also has a little pocket at the very back. Nice for business cards, money, and other random scraps. Ok, I guess I’ll actually include an excerpt from the little black book that I have been babbling about this whole time…
Barriers to Seeing:
-The greatest is preoccupation.
-The mass stimuli around us. We create a sort of tunnel vision that keeps us from seeing.
-Labeling that results from familiarity. We must forget the name of the thing we are looking at.
A photographer who wants to see, to make fine images, must recognize the value of the familiar. Even the camera can become a barrier. The camera is a means of converting experiences into images. Making pictures can be a substitute for seeing and participating. The camera is also a slight barrier because it does not see as the human eye does. People are constantly abstracting, and do it without thinking. The camera does not.
Except for the differences between the camera and the human eye, all barriers to seeing are related to the first one. Seeing, in the finest and broadest sense, means using your senses, intellect, and emotions. Good seeing doesn’t ensure good photographs, but good photographic expression is impossible without it.
That is just one of the many pages of ideas and thoughts, either my own or another’s, that inspire me and help me to discover the art of seeing and being passionate about making images.