An awareness has been fermenting within me for some time now and it is best illustrated in my observation of the nature of my images, the observation of the images of others, and the reactions of others to images (mine and others).
When I began practicing photography over twenty years ago I began taking pictures of "things"...identifiable objects with which I and others have an awareness that is identifiable and definable. These early images may have been as simple as a single object or more complex as in a relationship between objects. These early images don't have much of an emotional content to me today. The reason that is true, I think, is that I was showing too much, showing it too well, and identifying it too completely. As I observe the images of others the same tendency seems to occur.
I am aware that "pretty pictures" don't do much for me anymore. Pictures of readily identifiable objects do not excite me...they don't engage me and they do not keep me engaged. That is true whether these images are mine or someone elses. They portray one part of life...but they don't address the totality of life.
I think that a great deal of our time here on this earth is not about what is seen but probably more about what is unseen. That is why photography can be such an excellent means to self discovery. While we can't photograph the "unseen"...we can allude to it in our images. That is the component of an image that keeps me engaged. That is the component that prompts me to keep asking questions.
Last week I posted two images to ascertain the reaction of the viewers on this forum. I found the results to be informative. The one image was of a mountain stream with the trees beyond. The second image was of the streaked plastered wall with a window opening and a broken window opening beyond. The first photograph was a "pretty picture" and told a story. The second photograph posed a question. The photograph that got the most views and comments? Predictably it was the "pretty picture". Why is that? Are we afraid to confront the unseen and unknown? Are we afraid to question? Are we afraid to think? I don't know. I would like your thoughts on this. Thanks for your views.