Here are three photographs taken at Hullbridge by the River Crouch, Essex, England. They were taken on a rather dull and cold day in February, 2013, which I might say was quite typical at that time of year. I don’t think there is anything special about these photos, nor do I think they hold any artistic merit. They have not been cropped, or treated in any way. I took them on the spur of the moment with the camera of my iPhone 4s.
Technically they are snapshots, i.e., informal photographs snapped quickly, but what they have done is to record fleeting moments in time. They contain very little colour because there was no direct sunlight and the colours of nature were muted, so as to become almost monochromatic.
The question is, “What do you see?”
So often we look at something and we don’t see the whole picture. Our mind may be focussed not on what we are seeing, but upon what we are thinking. We don’t give our full attention to our field of vision. However, when we take time and examine a photograph we focus on what is enclosed within the frame. The images are frozen. We explore them in detail. This can be revealing and thought provoking. Stimulus from the images can fire the imagination; they can remind us of past associations; they can trigger artistic expression and they can move the emotions.
The visual image in the form of a photograph can be exceedingly powerful; once seen never forgotten. I am mindful of one of the most moving, horrific images ever portrayed on the front page of a newspaper, that of a tiny girl burnt and scarred by napalm, running naked from the flames that had engulfed her.*
“What do you see when you look at the photos above?”
I see beauty, love and contentment. I see harmony, life and the fingerprint of God.
Phan Thi Kim Phuc
Picture power: Vietnam napalm attack
The Historic ‘Napalm Girl’ Pulitzer Image Marks Its 40th Anniversary
Fibonacci - God's Fingerprint
Seeing God’s Fingerprints