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.