My favorite photos are of things they way they are. Plays are my favorite literary form – all conversation, no authorial presence telling what what should be shown. Books that have a lot of description, of people or places, get passed by or those paragraphs and pages are skipped. I care more for people than plots. It doesn’t matter much to me what happened, I am more interested in the people who made it happen and why they did it rather than how.
I’ve never been one for metaphors (tho I admire writers who do it well; well enough so it is finally my image and no longer theirs.) . I want to say it exactly the way it is. Precisely. I want it to be substantial, of substance, concrete, if you like. I want the words to have weight and shape and form – so you can hold them, touch them, see them on all sides – three-dimensional – but to be what they are. Perhaps that’s why I don’t write poetry any more, and when I do it is so different from what I did in the past. Statements of fact? Not flights of fancy. More a story, perhaps.
If I take a photograph it’s because what I see interests me. Or I want to document a moment. It never occurs to me to turn a picture into something else. I want to capture the image of something the way it is. Another person sees beyond what something is to what it might become, or perhaps once was, and so the photo is manipulated to show that, or that image created with paints or pen and ink. And so I can admire your thought process or your inner vision but can’t use mine own. Of course it might tell me much about you, more than you’ve ever told me in conversation. What you see that isn’t there except in your own mind’s eye can be revealing. But I’m not your shrink. And what is is interesting to me.
Which seems to contradict that I am more interested in what makes people tick than makes clocks tick.
But not so. I want/try/ do see what is – be it a tree or a person – without interpretation. to experience what is for only that and nothing more.
(Added when replying to a comment:
The altering of images to create new images is an old art form - whether a palimpsest or a collage or developing photographic negatives in a particular way. Nowadays we have photo editing software for digital photos...Photoshopping to create something new is a technique I admire but would never use (other than for cosmetic purposes) - my creativity doesn't lean that way. I'm sure there are people who would like to be ablre to create images with paints or pen and ink but their talents don't go that way - so a photograph manipulated to an image that is in their mind's eye...well, it's an artistic technique. I personally find most of them not engaging on an emotional level - I always admire the technique. Just as in "great" art - often there is no connection to the painting - but I admire the artist's abilities. Art is, at minimum, a two-fold thing, the emotional connection and the intellectual appreciation for the technical execution. I suppose that's sounds like the scores in many athletic competitions - so many points for "technical" and so many points for "artistic expression".)