The Old and the New

A Shot of Green
A Shot of Green

The arts are an invaluable resource for measuring the impact of ancient things upon our modern world. The pillars supporting the current expressions of art are clearly visible receding into antiquity far below today’s stage. For photographers the lessons learned from Rembrandt, who has a portrait lighting style named for him, and the multitude of other great painters from the past have shaped the esthetic essentials we need to understand so as to craft dynamic images. Sculptors showed us how to utilize texture and form to capture the beautiful relationships between light and our subjects. While forms of presentation and mediums may change, these foundational principles remain sure to this day. We owe a debt to these artisans and their discoveries. We may even be humbled if we allow ourselves, if we accept that there truly is nothing new under the sun.
This relationship of old and new is a constant reminder of the truth of the aforementioned axiom. Even within science it is seen that our discoveries are new to us, but they are, in reality, pre-existent truths that we have happened to uncover. Our inventions rely upon the steadfastness of universal laws which have stood unchanged from the beginning of time. What we make now is really nothing more than a clever rearranging of the puzzle pieces we have found utilizing the next lines of the instruction manual that was written before we could read.
It is also evident that we do not entirely like these reminders. There is a humbling effect that comes from embracing these truths about ourselves. It makes us smaller than we would like to appear. A conduit rather than a wellspring. There is also the somewhat frightening result of drawing us closer to the crack in the door of the eternal. The source of light that wants to reveal our role as stewards rather than kings in our own right. It begs us to press upon it, swing it open, to reveal all origins.
A photograph taken with my circa 1980 Pentax ME Super set me to musing upon these things as I processed it through Photoshop Elements© on my Macbook©. That is why I love my old camera.

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