10/19/2010

When A Bad Means Good


Abstract concepts. Abstract art, as in ... abstract expressionism. Can one's spirituality be propelled by an abstract view of the world, or simply interpreted in abstract terms? How about being ... drawn away, as one is often affected by a religious experience, a thought, a feeling... Perhaps.

As a photographer, I deal mostly with reality. Light creates moments of awe or wonder. How often have I found myself gently prompting someone not take pictures against the sun, taking a queue from a camera they were using? Backlight options on more sophisticated cameras take care of the situation. Personally, I love photos the way they are taken. They are real, even if one is reckless with the apature settings, and so forth.

What about freezing a movement by a fast shutter speed? How abstract will your result be if other options are considered. How about adding a pulse of your heart into what you are seeing, experiencing?

Consider lomography, or re-consider it, where "the future is analogue." So, got film? Branded in Austria in 1991, the approach emphasizes a casual, snapshot photography with over-saturated colors, off-kilter exposure, blurring, "happy accidents," charmed by the unique, colorful, and sometimes encouraging a lighthearted approach photography. Did you ever experience a phone call from someone whose phone ... called. Heard their footsteps? Heard the sound of leaves being walked on? Abstract? Perhaps. And more.

Being born in a post-WWII era, I got to appreciate a "trendy" development of abstract expressionism, an art movement that emphasized spontaneous self expression with an application of paint in creating nonrepresentational compositions. That's pretty good for a dictionary explanation. In photography, I found my own abstract expressiveness in my intentional approach to my camera being in motion, in taking images out of focus, and in finding beauty in details, shapes, colors.

A fellow-photographer remarked once, I had no idea that such details and things existed, let alone be photographed. Obviously, he was in love with his landscapes and sunsets ...

A British theologian, N. T. Wright, in Simply Christian, articulates the role of arts in Christian life. He challenges the contemporary church when he says, that the church should reawaken its hunger for beauty at every level. He refers to God's creation as being a root of beauty. Art, music, literature, dance, theatre, and many other expressions of human delight and wisdom, can all be explored in new ways.

Being a photographer, and a person of hope, I resonate with Wright, who wonders, if art can help us to look beyond the immediate beauty with all its puzzles, and to glimpse that new creation which makes sense not only of beauty but of the world as a whole, and ourselves within it.

Actually, beauty is an abstract word.

A selection of the following images seems to bear a testimony to a saying, that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.


Three Muses. Vilnius, Lithuania.

A Knit Cathedral. Cuzco, Peru.

Delivery of Seeds. Leesburg, Virginia.

Five Bamboo Sticks. Insa-dong, Seoul, Korea.

Dancing Colors and Women Worshipers. Chirala, India.

A Headless Cow. Pune, India.

A Flying Barrel. Middleburg, Virginia.

Water Drops. Walla Walla, Washington.

Iced Leaves. Leesburg, Virginia.

Five Chimneys in Wood. Middleburg, Virginia.

A Ball of Nails. Stockholm, Wisconsin.

A Passing Cloud. Kiev, Ukraine.

Ready to Eat? Oxford, Maryland.

A Moving Dune. Leba, Poland.