I have had a prolonged period of time contemplating the matter of human expression through photography. There is a lot of talk about a "personal vision". I am not sure that I understand what that means...it seems, that can mean any number of things from the depiction of a "project or specific body of work" to a statement of what the world is to us individually. I have come to the point of asking, is that all there is? I see a lot of derivative photography...most of it is actually derivative. Very little of that work resonates within me and it all becomes rather mundane when one has seen the same thing for the umpteenth time. I have long felt that there is the potential for a deeper more meaningful form of expression in photography. The incorporation of symbolism into photographs seems to be where this potential lies. Someone here said the other day that Brett Weston reportedly said that everything had been done before. While I respect Brett Weston's photography, I disagree with his judgement on this matter. For instance the work of Jerry Uelesmann and Misha Gordin is unique and is not derivative, so far as I know, of anything that has been presented before in the realm of photography. The work of both is very symbolic. Someone recently said that there are two ways of observing a photograph. The first was by "direct observation" the second was by "symbolic reference". Speaking for myself, I think that there is a perponderance of work that is based in "direct observation". Throughout history there has been a study of mankind and his symbols. Dr. Carl Jung wrote a seminal work in his book "Man and his Symbols". In that book, he explores and gives basis to the universality of symbolism that cuts through the constraints of cultures and time. Beyond the universal symbols that Jung addressed, there are, of course, other symbols that may have great influence on given cultures based upon the history of that culture. Then there are individual symbols that have resonance within an individual based upon the experience of that individual. Symbols of the later type could be Water (standing and running), Doors, Paths, Bridges, Windows, Clouds and Sun. These come to mind immediately and there are others. At it's the very foundation black and white photography could be symbollically referenced to Yin and Yang, male and female, strong and weak etc. It is interesting to me that Wynn Bullock appears to have addressed this at one time in his consideration of the unbreakable relationship between "space and time". Perhaps he was influenced by Einstein's Space/Time Continuum or possibly he came to this insight on his own. As I view Bullock's images, they are rife with symbolism. It would seem that with this universal language of "symbolic reference" that transcends "objective observation" that symbolism would resonate at the greater magnitude. I would appreciate hearing from those who have given thought to this.