Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Listening with My Eyes

Someone once looked at some of my pictures and said that I was "listening with my eyes."

I'm not entirely sure what she meant, but it is true that, at least at this point, taking photographs means slipping into another mode, one where I'm concentrating on seeing almost to the exclusion of all else.

I usually have to take a couple of "throwaway" pictures when I set out, just to warm up.

And I can't do it and talk with someone else, not very well anyway. On walks I take with other people, I tend to take one or maybe two pictures at most. The dog, on the other hand, makes an excellent companion. She doesn't talk much and is quite happy to stop and sniff things while I take pictures. She doesn't always understand why I stop when I do--I may pass up several delightfully smelly trees before I pause at some not very interesting grass, but she's quite cheerful about the whole thing. And, sometimes it pays to stop when she wants to and take a look around.

It turns out that I can't listen to music on walks, either. I've been out a few times this week with the MP3 player, and even though the music is familiar, I still didn't end up taking many pictures.

So, yes, I guess I am listening with my eyes.

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