Title: "Unraveling the mysteries"
I started reading Ruth Bernhard's biography last night at the final chapter, which is actually a compilation of her approaches to teaching photography and reminiscences from former students and colleagues. One of the students remarked that Ruth had impressed upon her that being a photographer requires practice, which is something that resonates with me. Ruth also encouraged students to "make" photographs by connecting deeply with their chosen subjects, feeling the history and meaning of the subject. Ruth didn't abide by the idea of "shooting" or "taking" photographs, I think because it implies a less thoughtful, connected approach to the process. One can only wonder how she would react to "Nice capture!", the most prevalent comment people use on flickr.
Intuition or instinct is another important component in making photographs according to Ruth. I find myself drawn to the shapes, lines, tones and textures of natural things, like the driftwood above and the rock formations and striations I find along the shore here. I can intellectualize how those characteristics are important in my compositional decisions, but I simply accept the insistent desire I have to use these objects as subjects. Some things are simply meant to be. Words cannot express what I feel looking at an image like this one, which is the whole reason for making it.