A Way Of Seeing

By April 11, 2013Arts/Culture

From the Reach. Photography out of the open door of a small plane – in aid of science and poetry. This is a flexible, searching way of making images. It can be a prime means of exploration: it yields a range of information and suggests hypotheses for research. In fact, it has repeatedly launched demanding investigations.

It is a fine way of studying landscapes, of sensing their change through time, of appreciating their aesthetics, their moods, even their rhythms. A lot of research is drudgery: not this. However, it must be preceded and followed by a fairly careful consideration of all available cartographic and literary sources in order to arrive at explanations of what has been seen.

The possibility of a “bird’s-eye view” fascinated earthlings long before the achievement of flight or photography. It was first actually realized out of the baskets of balloons in Europe in the late-18th Century and then developed in the 20th Century for the gathering of war intelligence and the direction of bombardment.

As it happens, I was first intrigued myself when I became aware of the magnificent photography by British airmen just after WWII. They turned their skills to peaceful reconnaissance over their homeland and revealed a great deal about ancient settlements, fortifications, roads and agriculture that hadn’t been appreciated before. I applied it in Latin America, particularly in Mexico, as well as over my home ground, the Lower Fraser Valley.

A Way of Seeing
Alfred Siemens

South Gallery, The Grotto
April 18, 2013 – June 9, 2013

Cover photo from Alfred H. Siemens – Landscape Photo Art

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