Musings on Photography

Thoreau on wide/deep

Posted in process by Paul Butzi on April 6, 2007

Objects are concealed from our view, not so much because they are out of the course of our visual ray as because we do not bring our minds and eyes to bear on them…. We do not realize how far and widely, or how near and narrowly, we are to look. The greater part of the phenomena of Nature are for this reason concealed from us all our lives. The gardener sees only the gardener’s garden. Here, too, as in political economy, the supply answers to the demand. Nature does not cast pearls before swine. There is just as much beauty visible to us in the landscape as we are prepared to appreciate,—not a grain more.
 
 -Henry David Thoreau

7 Responses

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  1. Colin Jago said, on April 6, 2007 at 11:31 am

    ……The actual objects which one man will see from a particular hill-top are just as different from those which another will see as the beholders are different. The scarlet oak must, in a sense, be in your eye when you go forth. It requires different intentions of the eye and of the mind to attend to different departments of knowledge! How differently the poet and the naturalist look at Objects!

  2. Jack Nelson said, on April 6, 2007 at 11:54 am

    Henry David, my favorite photog. Greta shot; very Walden Pondish.

  3. Andy Chen said, on April 6, 2007 at 12:16 pm

    I’ve been pondering going-deep as a practice of becoming enchanted with a particular subject. In fact, becoming re-enchanted, by revealing what is, as Thoreau puts it, concealed. Why would we be going deeper except to become enthralled, to get back to a level of value that has been neglected.

  4. [...] Paul Butzi’s blog for the same quote with a more traditional image. Does the quote work well for you with the image [...]

  5. David Bailey said, on April 8, 2007 at 2:59 pm

    Hi Paul,

    I just read the following article in the Washington Post:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/04/AR2007040401721.html?hpid=topnews

    It’s an in-depth piece which expands on this theme with a beautiful prank: a classical virtuoso plays in a subway station and is ignored by most everyone. It has good followup interviews with those who walked by, and with the musician himself. Enjoy!

    - Dave Bailey (your old friend from Group f/5.6)

  6. Umesh said, on April 9, 2007 at 9:04 am

    Nice blog…interesting read…keep it going…
    -Umesh

  7. [...] Reifer has a post on his blog, which quotes the same Thoreau passage as this post on this blog, asking a question about how well the quotation goes with my photo (and with [...]


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