I rediscovered one of my books in my library the other day and have found it a wonderful way to escape for a few minutes each day as I open it up at random and immerse myself in a page or two of the writing.
The book is “The Photographer’s Playbook”published by aperture and edited by Jason Fulford and Gregory Halpern. It contains interviews and great suggestions to hone one’s creativity with a special focus on photography. I came across the following passage by Melinda Gibson just this morning and it took me back three years when I was dealing with retinal tears and the possibility of losing my sight… The essay resonated deeply within me. I hope you find it as inspiring as I do.
Losing an Eye
“One has to lose the use of an eye for a substantial period to find how life is altered in its absence.” – Oliver Sacks
“Left or right? Which eye is the most dominant (the one that you use when looking through the viewfinder)? Now cover this eye with a patch, tape, or stickers – anything that ensures complete coverage. Not with your hand, since you can peek through your fingers! Venture out with your forced disability and start photographing. Sitting here, writing this with with my right eye covered, I understand the difficulty of this task. Everything I see, I have to really look at. My balance is off, and I move more closely toward objects to make sense of their shapes. Words and sentences take longer to read and there is a slight blur, a softness around the edges. But what is incredible is how “losing and eye” fundamentally alters the way we perceive and understand the environment around us and how much more we see when we are really forced to look.
Remove your patch after and extended period of time and then start photographing with both eyes again. See just how much brighter, more balanced, and more focused this view is, but how quickly we revert to the “old ways” of looking.”
This exercise can easily transfer to any art discipline. I found it valuable to be reminded how precious sight is for all of us. Wishing you a day filled with colour and light, Anna