Look Longer

Architecture Study, Series 1, No. 9 (Julie Penrose Fountain)

Architecture Study, Series 1, No. 9 (Julie Penrose Fountain)
Colorado Springs, Colorado, 2014

Earlier today, I found myself looking at the website of one of my favorite photographers, Michael Kenna.  Several new images had been added, and as I was flipping through them on my smartphone (I know, not the best way to look at photography, but that’s a topic for another post), it occurred to me that I didn’t used to flip through images.  I used to spend more time, stopping to linger on ones that really caught my eye, moving past the initial impressions to study details, see relationships, and gain a deeper appreciation of the work.

So, I stopped flipping, and started looking.  I studied the details, looked for the relationships, and sought out a deeper appreciation of what I was looking at.  And in doing so, that deeper appreciation really did come.  I noticed nuances that were not apparent to me at first glance.  I asked myself questions and spun answers that led me in unexpected directions.  Briefly, I inhabited the small world that each of those images created.

If you enjoy looking at photography, you’re probably guilty of flipping through images too.  Maybe it’s just a byproduct of seeing so many things on computer displays and smartphone screens these days.  My thought for the day – look longer.  Just when you’re ready to flip to the next thing, stop yourself.  Spend a little more time with an image you like, after all, if it caught your eye in the first place, it probably has something worth spending time with.

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