Tom McLaughlin: Creative Networking
Wed, 07/25/2012 - 9:00am
Just as I write mostly for myself, my photographs are selfish too - but I don’t publish them, except the occasional few on my weblog. I give them away to whoever asks. Lately, I’m deriving more satisfaction from pictures than from words.
They’re related, though, words and images. Good novelists catalyze images which are, in turn, subjectively modified in readers’ minds. While reading a good story, there’s a movie playing on the back of my forehead that I view with my mind’s eye, so to speak. Conversely, “A picture,” goes the proverb, “is worth a thousand words,” but those words need not be spoken or written, necessarily. The picture might just speak for itself, as words are sometimes insufficient.
Every day I expect to see beauty, so I take my camera wherever I go. If it’s not hanging off my shoulder, it’s not far away in my vehicle. Should my pictures capture some imperfect, but reasonable facsimile of a beautiful witness, some appreciation may then be kindled in others viewing it.Encounters with beauty quicken feeling. If nothing is troubles me, the serenity helps me to see the beauty I might otherwise have missed if I were melancholic. When I expect beauty, it usually appears and when it does, it magnifies serenity, which helps me see still more beauty. “Beauty” defined is:
"The quality present in a thing or person that gives intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind, whether arising from sensory manifestations (as shape, color, sound, etc.), a meaningful design or pattern, or something else (as a personality in which high spiritual qualities are manifest)."
As most of my pictures are attempts to capture beauty, there’s feeling associated with each. They begin with feeling, at least, but they don’t always render it. When my photographs fail to catch and arrest even a small portion of the beauty I perceive, I feel a loss. But when they do, it’s wonderful.My favorite poet, Robert Frost, wrote:
“A poem begins as a lump in the throat . . .”
And I get that. Frost went on:
“ . . . a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness.”
My pictures might contain some lovesickness - an immersion into feeling - but with more emphasis on love and less on sickness. I write about woe, but avoid photographing it.