September 19, 2013 - 4 went

CONVERSATION PIECES- Virtual Meetup

Footprint

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Added by Gary W.
on Sep 20, 2013.
 

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  • Gary W.

    As I mentioned I am much more interested in the story of the photograph. It has taken me years to clear my head of the asinine conventional wisdoms of photography. Even then I only do it occasionally so I have renamed them the conventional impediments of photography. I prefer to shoot to themes rather than to document an object, I am more interested in what that object can convey metaphorically. I still do more camera club photography than I like but sometimes I break through in small steps. In this photograph I am interested in what each of the elements says or suggests. The center of interest of course is the footprint. A human element in a photograph will almost always trump every other object for interest. The footprint speaks to the presence of a person or at least the past presence. The seaweed and the traces of sand sculpted by the shifting tide gives location—a beach. When on the beach I have several themes but the most common are (1) footprints in the sands of time,(2) the strong attraction that the sea holds over our imagination and (3) the edge—the line between sea and land. Looking at almost any of my beach pictures and you will find one or two of those three themes. I also do abandoned clothing or dead creatures on the beach but that is more about dust unto dust and death rather than about the sea or the beach specifically. In this photograph we see a single footprint in the sand in a location identifiable as a shoreline, not seen but suggested by color and by ancillary elements. From that a line of thought can take two directions—if you are an evolutionist you believe that man evolved from the sea. I am more intelligent design so I also believe that evolving from the sea has a great deal to do with the attraction the sea holds for man. And for the creationist who can say that clay does not exist at the edge. So by examining the elements, is the footprint coming from the sea, or is it a footprint of someone standing at the edge staring out to sea or possibly entering the sea? There are of course clues but there is no right or wrong answer. It is to the viewer’s imagination to supply the story they are most comfortable with. Do they want to see it as a story of creation or as a story of man’s spirit longing for the adventure of what the sea hides over horizon?

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