Creative Observation

20/08/2014 - 13:14



I have lost count of the amount of times I have walked along the stretch of the River Aune, beside the ancient Cobbly Walk green lane, to explore its details - some places just seem to invite continued enquiry. It is a stretch of the river that is accessible for less than a mile in length, yet each visit brings new ideas for images on many occasions I have luckily found the light to be suitable to make a photograph.


On a recent visit I returned to spot beside a grand beech tree that reaches one of its muscular boughs arcing out above the river, there are ropes swings on it that locals use to launch themselves into the deep pool below. It has somewhat of an anthropomorphic presence.



'Aune Portal'



The initial amount of detail before me, as I sat at that spot on the river bank, did remind me of the famous complaint of Emperor Joseph II about The Marriage of Figaro - "too many notes, Mozart!”.


Though I felt there was enough lure of the ovaloid forms of boughs, branches and arch & the zig-zagging bedrock to give it some narrative and to leave some unanswered questions (and hopeful intrigue) for the viewer.


Of course the arrangement of shapes to create the portal effect, a landscape photography construct of which I am very fond, exists only from a very limited number of degrees of direction from where one sits or stands. It is thus a suggested arrangement, a conversation of disparate elements that seem to work harmoniously to create something greater than the sum of the parts.




      “Nothing exists until or unless it is observed. An artist is making something exist by observing it. And his hope for other people is that they will also make it exist by observing it. I call it 'creative observation' … creative viewing.”

 William S. Burroughs




Here are some earlier ones around this particular section of the river. Slight changes in where one stands always surprise me in how much a vista can change,  so I highly recommended time spent absorbing the essence of place, varying one’s direction of observation and of subtracting elements to then hopefully make a considered photo – rather than to be just wooed by the immediate charm of a place.



'The smile of Autumn'




'Theatre of light & sound'




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