Saturday, September 10, 2011

Photography and Writing

Today I was struck by the parallels between photography and writing a novel.  Cameras and computers are abundantly available limited only by what you can afford.  Cell phones take pictures and posts to blogs.  If I felt like writing on a tiny keyboard and sending the pages to my computer, I'm sure there's an app for that or there'll be one soon.

Everyone has words in their head.  Everyone has a story to tell.  I have a camera.  I take pictures.

My cousin Jarod is a fabulous photographer.  I'm looking forward to the day I can have his photos, framed and hanging on the wall.  (I need a wall first; he'll give me the photos.)  One of my favorites is a forest scene, a bend in the road and patch of fog.  Anyone could have taken the picture.  But the beauty is in the composition, in the fact Jarod waited for the fog to reach a certain point and for the light to be just right so it evokes an emotion. 

Over on FaceBook, I always make a point to check out his picture of the day.  I've never been to New England.  Honestly I was never really interested in heading that direction until Jonathan and I became friends.  Often when I look at his pictures, particularly the black and white ones, a whole story composes in my head. 

Today I gained a new follower on Twitter who is also a fabulous photographer, Jean-Michel LeClercq. (check out his web site  I could shoot ten thousand frames and maybe, if I was really lucky, have one or two that might be on par with Jarod's, Jonathan's and Jean-Michel's artistry.  Clearly having the tools does not translate to talent. 

I write.  I like to think I'm talented and that readers will immerse themselves in the story.  When I wrote The Privacy Fence I made the conscious decision not to describe the characters.  I want the reader to interact with the story much like I interact with photographs. We live in a colorful world.  Our brains automatically assign color to black and white pictures based on our emotional response and that response comes from memories, good or bad.  With The Privacy Fence I want each reader to say "I know someone like this" and picture that person while they read.  Doing so personalizes the book, it's no longer just a story I'm telling that will be the same for each person who reads it. 

Thank you to those who enjoy and honed their craft.  Your masterful artistry inspires me to compose, to rethink and edit so that I might take my readers on a journey much like your pictures take me.

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