Sunday, January 29, 2006


I watched 'Born Into Brothels' last night. It won the Academy Award for best documentary last year, but I just got around to seeing it. It was engaging and inspiring. It reminded me of how effective photography is in our world. How it can change ones thinking and reminds us to see...

I am sharing with you here one of my favorite passages. I cannot read this without getting goose bumps. I guess it appeals to my passion for photography.

If you observe an ordinary object or body very closely, it is transformed into something scared. The camera can reveal secrets the naked eye or mind cannot capture; everything disappears except for the thing that is the focus of the picture. The photograph is an exercise in observation, and the result is always a stroke of luck.
The camera is a simple apparatus, even the most inept person can use it; the challenge lies in creating with it that combination of truth and beauty called art. That quest is above all spiritual. I seek truth and beauty in the transparency of an autumn leaf, in the perfect form of a seashell on the beach, in the curve of a woman’s back, in the texture of an ancient tree trunk, but also in more elusive forms of reality.
Sometimes, working with an image in my darkroom, the soul of a person appears, the emotion of an event or vital essence of some object; at that moment, gratitude explodes in my heart and I cry. I can’t help it.

‘Portrait in Sepia’ Isabel Allende


~jolene said...

After reading that snippet from the novel I am COMPELLED to read it in in's entirety!

Thank you for sharing this.

Anonymous said...

I think that passage not only applies to photography but artwork in general. As an artist I feel that when I paint(draw,bead,etc) I'm trying to capture more then what I'm seeing. Something deeper.
I've seen some your painted photographs. They are so beautiful! I love that they each have a personality.
I have a website with my artwork.. I would give you the link but I'm actually in the middle of redoing it. I should have it up within the next week or so.


Anonymous said...

What a beautiful passage. As someone who loves photography, I really appreciated reading that. Some of my favourite photography-related quotes (that I put on my own photography web site) are:

"I really believe there are things nobody would see if I didn't photograph them." (And I truly take that one to heart).

"No place is boring if you've had a good night's sleep and have a pocket full of unexposed film."

"The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera."

"Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still."

Keep on snapping!

Anonymous said...

Just a beautiful post Angela! Isabelle Allende is one of my favorites. . .

Anonymous said...

I am not an artist by any stretch of the imagination. I have looked at some of the art sites that are listed in your blog and some of them are quite beautiful.

I am not meaning to appear completely ignorant to all of you artists - but the passage in your post, Angela, mentioned "sepia." I have heard that term mentioned quite frequently lately. Exactly what is "sepia?" (please don't laugh all you artist people!)

ac said...

No one laughing here...we achieve wisdom by asking and reading...
I wasn't sure how to explain it so I looked it up on and I learned something...I never knew about the cuttlefish part.
Old photos often have this look...a brownish tint...It gives a black and white photo a unique look.

se·pi·a ( P ) Pronunciation n.

1.A dark brown ink or pigment originally prepared from the secretion of the cuttlefish.
2.A drawing or picture done in this pigment.
3.A photograph in a brown tint.
4.A dark grayish yellow brown to dark or moderate olive brown.