The Cowboy and Potato
All photography, after all is said and done, is really all about perception. Perception in a very real sense is unique to each individual. As I tell everyone who takes a tour of the Digital Imaging Lab where I work, no two people perceive the world the same. Eyesight varies as well as hearing and all of the other senses. Have you ever asked someone to tell you the lyrics to a song? Inevitably the words will be misconstrued. The person heard something other than what the singer actually said. Some of this is due to the stylings of the particular singer but mostly it is due to the person receiving the sound signal. As a funny example, one evening as me and my kids and wife are having dinner and listening to the radio, Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” comes on. My 15 year old daughter lovers Nirvana, my 10 year never heard this song before but by the time the chorus comes round a second time Isaac starts to sing along (with feeling!) “…and the cowboys and potatoes.” Ugh! My daughter gets that look of disdain that only 15 year old girls can summon, “That’s not the way the song goes!”
This is not the first time Isaac has done this. The Police’s ” So Lonely” has become “Salami” (that’s my favorite) and we usually belt it out at breakfast much to my wife’s annoyance. Admittedly I have also misconstrued the lyrics to a song. Usually when I am corrected the song takes on a whole new meaning or there is a dimension added to the song. So before I become enlightened, I am living in a unique world where there is a song that has lyrics unique to me alone (cowboys and potatoes for example) and no one else lives in this world. Maybe the same thing happens with vision. My eyes see things a little differently than anyone else and my brain processes the signal in a unique fashion which makes me visually sensitive or more sensitive to some things and not others. Mix that in with your unique set of experiences and memories and pressures and you get vision that is specifically you! The work now is finding what your vision is and that takes work and shooting, shooting, shooting.
So go on out there pardner, and find your cowboy and potato!