Look a Little Closer, See a Little Clearer

Black and white closeup of a glass cutting tool.

This feels like a lazy post on my part, but two people I admire published essays that made me ruminate on the act of looking and paying attention.

From Eugene Kim

I am constantly amazed by what I’ve been seeing and learning and how ignorant I was for over four decades of things that were right in front of me

http://eekim.com/2021/03/robin-wall-kimmerer-on-attention/

From Craig Mod

The point being: Looking closely is valuable at every scale. From looking closely at a sentence, a photograph, a building, a government. It scales and it cascades — one cognizant detail begets another and then another. Suddenly you’ve traveled very far from that first little: Huh.

https://craigmod.com/essays/looking_closely/

I’m a photographer. Taking pictures is how I remember things.

Sometimes when I take pictures I have the picture in my mind already and I’m trying to make it real.

Other times, I take pictures of something before me that is so beautiful or magical I try to capture it with the lens.

But most of the time, taking pictures is my way of paying attention to the world.

To notice.

To remember.

To learn.

It doesn’t matter if the picture is “good” or “bad”. It doesn’t matter if I ever look at it again. Most of the time, I don’t.

Framing the photo, the scene, the subject, the moment is what holds it in the part of my mind that remembers when so often, the world can be fleeting.

The frame isn’t just for the camera.

The frame is for me.

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