in silence standing by Mark Singles
I suspect I'm not alone in experiencing one of photography's great flaws — the constant seduction to be making photographs rather than to be experiencing. It's easy to forget that the experience is the core, the foundation, the beginning — and that photographing and the resulting photograph are a result of that core experience. More than once, I found myself rushing into a photographic location leading with my camera rather than with my senses. Mark Singles reminds us of this error in his portfolio titled and our LensWork Folio of the same name, in silence standing. He is first in pursuit of an experience, and only secondarily interested in attempting to share that through his photographs.
In an article I wrote way back in LensWork #4 titled Things I've Learned About Photography, I stated that the most important thing a photographer can take into the field is not an extra lens, nor additional film, and certainly not a better camera. The most important thing a photographer can take into the field is an extra day. There simply is no substitute for time. Photography's great strength is, of course, that we can make a wonderful piece of artwork in a 60th of a second; photography's great weakness is, of course, that we can be seduced into thinking that all we need to make a wonderful piece of artwork is a 60th of a second.
If you agree with my thoughts about this so far, there is one step further that's worth considering: the additional time required to make the photograph is not time for photographic decisions, compositional alternatives, or searching out the right place to stand. Instead, it is time to feel, time to think, time to relate, time to associate, time for the osmosis from "out there" to "inside me" to happen. This is why I have often said that the most important sense organ for photographers is not acute eyesight but rather an open heart. These commentaries in LensWork Daily that we now label "Image Discussion" were originally known as our "Vision of the Heart" blog — for a very specific reason. Thanks, Mark, for reminding us of this.
The portfolio can be seen in its entirety in our back issues — print (while still available) and our PDFs for computer, iPad, Android, and other devices. The 10-print folio can be purchased here. Plus, bonus audio commentary about this image is available to full-access members of LensWork Online.
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