Seeing What Can be Seen

Updated: Feb 8


It's interesting how a camera can teach us to see. The world is so utterly full of objects, places, shapes and shadows, color and light, that we often let it all become just the background of our lives rather than a continual art show revealing itself moment by moment. When we look through the lens of a camera, however, we whittle down the sheer vastness of what our eyes can take in to something more manageable, like one part of the curve of of a water fountain. Then we can actually see what's there, and rest our awareness in the friendly confines of what the viewfinder can show us. Even then, seemingly simple compositions can reveal a number of avenues of perception: color, light, texture, shadow, shapes and their relationships with each other. If we look with care and heart and mind, perhaps we'll discover that innumerable mini-scapes can be discovered between our front door and our mailbox


One of the advantages of having pockets is that I can carry a high-quality camera with me very easily. It even checks my email, allows me to go anywhere on the internet, and reminds me when I have appointments. I'm very happy with the quality of images that my iPhone takes, and it makes images like this possible. This is part of the circular fountain in front of our house in Sedona, and as I was walking by it after getting our mail, I was struck by the contrasting and complementary shapes, colors, and textures present in this part of our garden. Instead of capturing the whole fountain, I explored this scene of complementary contrasts: colors, textures, curves, planes, and the play of light on each element, and settled on this composition. I explored the different viewpoints, and settled on this calm and yet quietly dynamic composition. Even the tiny waves and bubbles caused by the fountain's splashes add to the play of contrasts.


Perhaps you might enjoy exploring the interplay of shapes, colors, textures, and energies in the "artscape" that you live in too. Explore "close-scapes" through the lens of your cell phone camera, and see what can be seen!

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