Ringling Bros WinnerThe photo above won first place at the Ringling School of Art and Design competition I participated in this past weekend. The theme was “Light & Reflection” and this photo definitely portrays that, as it is basically rippled yellow sun light, reflected on blue water.

But according to the judge, (center of photo, dressed in black, above) the thing that makes it work as the winning photo, is that it grabs the viewer. The judge went on to discuss how it made him feel, how he was  stopped and had to stare at it and look at it and participate in it. I saw the photo and though there were some other very excellent photos competing, this one actually was one of the best. Stunning to look at and curious in its invitation to be viewed.

As writers,  we paint our images with words… we transmit our emotions packaged in phrases so the reader can feel them.  I know, I dig using words as much as the next fella, but to be able to transmit a whole drama by viewing a single solitary image, without the utterance of one single syllable; now that is a story I want to author.

Up till this very moment, I’ve been intrigued with photographing sparkly shapes, a twinkle of this in a dark field of that, on odd bird there and and rough rock here. I’d look at these incredibly cool colors and shapes and realize that they didn’t carry much emotion, but I just liked the dazzle of them. The days of a snag of this or glimpse of that, me thinks, might be evolving into a little less literal capture of form and a lot more projection of emotional scene.

I’ve got some captures in my past that were not about the cool solo object, but were more a sense of an emotional moment; I actually never thought of those as an objective for anyone’s view, just something I snapped on for my own silly impulse. Me thinks I will release more of those silly impulses going forward, while trying to identify the theme within them.

I guess it’s like the martial artist going into training with the blind fold on. If he or she can master the weapon and defeat the opponent without the benefit of sight, then they certainly will excel in battle, once the veil is lifted. To practice telling a story and emoting the moment, without scribbling a single word; now that’s a tale worth telling.

Below, my proud family fans at the show.

G'head. Say it.

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