Musings on Photography

Fog

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul Butzi on October 14, 2006

We’ve hit the big time fog season here in Carnation, WA. In the evening, the fog gathers as the sun sets and the air cools, and by morning the entire valley is filled with fog trapped between the hills to the west and the hills to the east. The morning breeze pushes the fog up the valley and the rising sun burns it off, and then the cycle repeats.

The fog is one of the things that makes the valley so photographically interesting to me. A foggy morning is a visual metaphor for how I feel about our ability to perceive the world around us. Some things we see clearly, some things are obscured. And, if we sit in once place quietly and let our impressions build, one upon the other, we can gradually see, emerging from the fog, first form and then detail.

Life is like that, too. We race at high speed, traveling all over the place, thinking that we’re getting ‘perspective’, and we never see beyond the hood of the car because the fog obscures so much. Slowing down and paying attention will let the detail emerge from the fog.

That’s what making art is for – staying in once place and paying enough careful attention that we can perceive the form and detail through the fog.

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