We See As We Are

April 9, 2013 | Leave a Comment |

Reflection XVIII, Yellowstone National Park, Montana, 2008

 The motivation for the creation of the first image in the series Reflection was to suggest a state of unusual calm by showing clear reflections in waters so calm not a single ripple or distortion could be found. As the body of work developed, a clear progression in the character of what was reflected revealed itself – from calming, to clearing, to illumination. Initially, I appreciated the first images for their calmness. Later, works began to contain a remarkable simplicity. In time, the photographs became so simple that the pure spaces they described began to reveal how charged with light they were. Finally, at first only in the byproducts they produced in their environments, the sources of light began to reveal themselves. Throughout this progression a growing intensity builds as the gaze is focused more directly and deeply into the source of illumination. Reflection XVIII represents an important culmination in the development of this body of work. And an important realization. I was surprised that a thing so simple could have such strength and depth.

In my work sky and water become metaphors for states of mind. Many religious traditions use bodies of water and weather as metaphors for states of mind. Throughout the ages, the world over, skies and water have been used in ritual practices to intuitively reveal what often goes unacknowledged by the conventional mind. If you watch water and sky closely, you’ll understand why. As water grows still, it becomes clearer so you can see more deeply into it and its surface becomes calmer so reflections reveal more fully what’s above it. When the sky clears you can better see the light in it and as color fades you can better see the lights behind it. In these states, it’s not clear where one thing begins and another ends. They become calmer, clearer, deeper, fuller, and more connected.

This progression in character happened inside me as well as in the work, perhaps from years of meditation, perhaps from doing the work. It’s rewarding to consider how our inner states are reflected in the things we are attracted to, that we surround ourselves with, and that we create.


 How much can you do with how little?

When is less more?

When is more less?

At what point is it too much?

At what point is it too little?

Find out more about this image here.

View more related images here.

Read more The Stories Behind The Images here.

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My Annual Open Studio Exhibit is now open – July 31 – August 1 only

Gallery talks are at 2 pm.

Over 100 new images and 3 new books.

All prints are 25% off current price this weekend only.

If you’d can’t attend but would like to inquire about purchases contact us here.

Enjoy the text from my book Condensation.

All photographs are about light. The great majority of photographs record light as a way of describing objects in space. A few photographs are more about spaces they represent than the objects within those spaces. Still fewer photographs are about light itself.

Time, space, light. All the things this work is about are ultimately missing from the final product – the print. Put it in a dark room and there will still be no light. Touch it and you’ll find it’s flat. Consider it for an extended time; you’ll change but it won’t. Curiously, these conspicuous absences within the print make what’s missing more intensely felt. How does absence make something more clearly experienced? Perhaps it’s that the gap between representation and reality gives us pause and begs us to more carefully reconsider the world around us and the experiences we have in it, at first as a way of verification but later as a way of celebration. Read more

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