Identity and its Equivalence

“I can`t verbalize on the internal meaning of pictures whatsoever. Some of my friends can on very mystical levels but I prefer to say, that if I feel something very strongly, I would make a photograph that would be the equivalent of what I saw and felt.” ~Ansel Adams

Gateway to Avalon, Wyoming

Gateway to Avalon, Wyoming

As one progresses as a photographer these words of wisdom should remain close by. Personally, I have always found that by not seeking the reasons why, my best work will come through. It’s not for me to even ask, but rather, when deeply moved, use what you have learned and draw upon it.

Over time as you deepen and broaden your own way of seeing meanings will change and like a good novel or discourse the depth of what you saw will reveal itself. In certain situations that allow for one to merge with their environment here are a few recommendations.

Don`t be afraid to ask for a little help. Unfortunately, true humility is not a strong suit for many of us but you might be surprised that just in asking, paradoxically we are both relieved and blessed in the act. A certain relaxed softness begins to surface and the tension one feels begins to disappear.

Place your attention on giving yourself to whats in front of you rather than bringing it to yourself. This not only pertains to the time of capture but more importantly what you do afterwards. This particular quote by Mark Nepo pretty much sums it up.

“One reason so many of us are lonely in our dream of success is that instead of looking for what is clear and true, we learn to covet what is great and powerful. One reason we live so far from peace is that instead of loving our way into the nameless joy of spirit, we think fame will soothe us. It leaves us with these choices: fame or peace, be a celebrity or celebrate being, build our identity on the attention we can get or find our place in the beauty of things by the attention we can give.”