The greatest Virtue is to follow the Tao and Tao alone
The Tao is elusive and intangible
Oh, it is intangible and elusive and yet within is image
Oh, it is elusive and intangible, and yet within is form
Oh, it is dim and dark, and yet within is essence
The essence is very real, and therein lies faith
These lines from the Tao Te Ching will resonate with many photographers. Obviously I do not pretend that my photographs offer any true glimpse into the profundity of Lao Tzu’s words. But they do suggest a way in which to see the world through the eye of a camera — image, form, essence, and, yes, ultimately utter faith in the world around us. Collectively my photography does not seem to fall into any of the usual genres — landscape, architecture, street photography, portraits, sculptures, etc. I take photographs as I am moved by what I see. Much of it is indeed visibly attached to form. But more importantly I hope to find an integrity to the image as a whole, the particular visible both as itself and as part of a whole to which it belongs.
The camera offers us the world as it is. But the world as it is consists of both the general and the particular. With the play of light and shadow, focus and bokeh, composition and the good fortune of timing, camera-lens-photographer have the possibility of seeing the world as it is in ways that do point to the essence, and in doing so of creating something of meaning and beauty.
But this takes care only of the content of the picture. For me, content cannot be separated from form. By form, I mean a rigorous organization of the interplay of surfaces, lines, and values. It is in this organization alone that our conceptions and emotions become concrete and communicable.
~ from The Decisive Moment, Henri Cartier-Bresson
(Tao Te Ching, v. 21, tr. Gia Fu Feng, Jane French, and Toinette Lippe)
Subcategory:Black & White
Keywords:Image, Tao, beauty, essence, form