Thursday, September 2, 2010

Take a leaf - or a photograph?

Autumn colors, originally uploaded by jiihaa.

Autumn colors, originally uploaded by jiihaa.

Fireweed, originally uploaded by jiihaa.

Fireweed, originally uploaded by jiihaa.

Has it ever happened to you that your brain suddenly asked you a question and you didn't have any idea how to answer. This happened today to me, when the head cold, which has lasted now a week, eased a bit so that I managed to go out for a walk.

I was preparing to take a photograph of a leaf when a question occurred to me: Why not just take the leaf? The leaf is much more beautiful than any photograph can be, and you can put it on your desk to look at, or on the wall.

I couldn't find an answer, and in fact I got so confused that I didn't take a photograph, or the leaf with me. And I'm still a bit confused.

But I recovered a little later, and did take some photographs.


Anonymous said...

Hi Juha,

Interesting Question. I have taken beautiful leaves home myself, but when I photograph, it is never just the leaf, the also the light, that moment in time, etc.
I think that is what photography means to me.


Anonymous said...

First of all: An excellent choice of images to accompagny this post - you have done very well in selecting those wonderful subdued autumn colors in here.

Re. the question: In my eyes these are two different levels of object - and none is superior to the other. Whilst the leaf "is" and can touch a multitude of sense, the photograph is kind of a meta level, or as Winogrand put it "how it looks photographed". There is the whole interaction between photographer and subject matter in it. And creating, (not only) pictures seems to be a deeply human interest, otherwise there would be no paintings since the very beginning very mankind.

Juha Haataja said...

@Richard and Markus: Thanks for the comments, you wrote well on the matter.

I'm unsure whether the question was a trivial one, or perhaps a deep one. Have to think a bit more about this.

Anonymous said...

The question? I'd vote for "deep". In it is all our pondering about reality and perception. Couldn't think of anything less shallow.

Juha Haataja said...

@Markus: It must be a non-shallow question, as I couldn't help thinking about it even today.

Anonymous said...

I'd leave the leaf and take the photo.

Maybe someone else will enjoy the leaf when they walk by.

Maybe the leaf likes it right where it is.

David said...

If there are only a few leaves and a lot of people, then soon - no more leaves.

I don't think it pays to find a better answer. If you like taking photographs - take photos.

Andreas said...

Leaves are much harder to share :D

Love the colors in #2. #3 is bewildering and #4 is simply perfect.

Juha Haataja said...

@David: Here in Finland we have plenty of leaves, maybe we should start selling them...

@Andreas: Indeed, sending a leaf vs. viewing a photograph. But in terms of ecological footprint, I'm not sure about which would be better...