How To Take A Picture

My very first class at my first year of art school was with Phil Perkis. Wow. What a world he revealed to me. Here is an excerpt from his book Teaching Photography Notes Assembled:

"To simply see what something(s) looks like: the light, the space, the relationship (visual) between the distances, the air, the tones, the rhythms, the texture, the contrasts, the shape of movement… the things themselves… not what they might mean later, not socially, not politically, not psychologically, not sexually (a cigar is not even yet a cigar).

Not to name, label, evaluate, like, hate; no memory or desire. Just to see.

This is the hardest thing to do, but that’s all that can be photographed. The camera records the light emitted from the surface of that which is placed within its field of view. P e r i o d.

To experience the meaning of what is. To stay with it for even a few seconds is no small task. The sound of voice without language, a musical line, a ceramic vessel, a non-objective painting. The presence of it, the weight of it, the miracle of its existence, of my existence. The mystery of the fact itself.

Maybe it’s the second law of infinity where you keep going halfway there forever. Cutting in half to eternity, and ‘grace’ is needed to jump the gap.

I keep taking pictures hoping something will help me across."