People sometimes ask "what do you like to photograph?" For years, the only answer I could come up with was "whatever catches my eye." This seemed embarrassingly shallow and lazy but it turns out there's more to "what catches our eye" than meets the eye. (Sorry, I couldn't help it).
Until recently, I thought that most of the brain's activity was dedicated to conscious thought and the rest to subconscious memories and unconscious beliefs. A few months ago, I learned from the critically acclaimed Charlie Rose "BRAIN" series that 90% of the brain is dedicated to non-conscious activity. More importantly, the unconscious mind has VERY strong opinions about what is "eye catching" -- not only visually but emotionally.
I've slowly come to understand that what catches my eye is the exact opposite of shallow and lazy. Almost all of my favorite images are (to me anyway) visually appealing AND have a deeper emotional or intellectual meaning. Figuring out WHY my sub/unconscious mind found them so captivating to begin with is hard work and can take years.
This week's Photo of the Week (POTW) is a perfect example of this process. I was wandering the streets of a small town just outside Acadia National Park very early one morning in October, 2010 when this weathered window with the cracked pots and scraggly petunias caught my attention. Three years later, I figured out that I had lots of pictures of dirty, cluttered and broken windows, why I liked them so much and the "Back Windows" series was born.
You can see the series and read the statement here
but the main point is that, for now, keeping an open mind and shooting whatever catches my eye is nothing to be embarrassed about.