The essence

Too often we attempt to force a photograph out of a situation rather than allow the situation to speak to us.

John Sexton


Many times I have gone to a photogenic location with pictures visualized in my mind before I get there, which I think is a good way to start. But I am always pleasantly surprised once I get there if I take the time to set aside my original agenda and let the area speak to me. I sit and pause and allow my mind to wander without any prescribed outcome.  It may seem a little weird, but there are certain characters that seem to emerge. Maybe a tree that all of a sudden sticks out because of its white bark. Maybe the horizontal line of a shoreline. Maybe the blue color of restaurant lights. Maybe the reflection of one building in the window of another.

I think most, if not all forms or art, are an attempt to get at the essence of something – or maybe the truth. How can we become better at pausing first to allow the one main thing to emerge and then see if we can capture it?


During the month of March I’m going to post a series of “raw, cooked” images to give you an idea of the metamorphis some of my photos go through. This was a "drive-by" on Route 376 in PA right after you cross the Ohio River.