Scott Shaw.com Be Positive

From Behind

I love photography that shows the landscape and the people of a specific region of a particular county. I’ve been taking photographs like that ever since I got my first reasonably good camera when I was thirteen, in 9th grade. I just love the way you can study those photographs for the nuisances and maybe really learn something while you are looking for the hidden elements.
 
I follow some active photographers and some of the groups that post photographs from specific regions of the world on Facebook. I really don’t want to know about people going to conventions and seeing some actor from times gone past or people trying to finance their horror film. (I don’t like horror). Or, people soliciting a seminar they are going hold with some great grandmaster. And, all the stuff like that. But, to see a really interesting photograph, now that can be inspirational.
 
Recently, there is something I’ve been noticing. I guess it’s something that I’ve always known, but it is one of those things that you know but you don’t bring that known knowledge to the forefront of your mind. I was taking note of the fact that a lot of the photographs I have been viewing, along with the city or country scape, show the back of a person or persons. Meaning, they were shot from behind that individual. I’m guess that is just something that happens naturally because you don’t want to be rude and stick a camera in someone’s face. I know I have followed this pattern, as well. Though, I suppose, with the advent of phone photography, grabbing concealed photographs anywhere/anytime has become so much more easy.
 
I think back to the days when I used to carry three camera bodies with three different primary lenses with me wherever I went when I was out somewhere across the globe. That was a heavy bag to carry! Now, though I do always carry a camera, they are so much smaller and so much lighter, and, in reality, the iPhone can get just as good of a shot as I used to hope to get, but often never did, in those times, with all those cameras, all those years ago.
 
Back then, as now, unless someone is a willing participant, I really hate to just take their photograph. Don’t you hate it when someone takes a photograph of you without your permission?
 
Thus, and therefore, I guess a lot of people follow this rule and a lot of photographs are taken from behind. Like I said, I know I have done this, as well. I think to some of my album or book covers and the central image is that of a person from behind.

I guess, at least in part, I got to thinking about this a week or so ago, when the people that handle the Swami Satchidananda account on Instagram posted a photo, from the early 1970s, where you can see the back of head sitting just to the right of my teacher. I know it was me. I remember the talk he gave that day very well. But, if you didn’t know I was there and/or you didn’t know what the back of my head looked like, you would never know it was me.
 
Contemplating all this, this AM, first I thought how something is lost in this process, as you don’t get to see the face. And, a face is so illustrative. Some faces really pull you in. But then, thinking about it a little more, I realized that from behind there is so much more illusion, as so much is left to the imagination.
 
I think to the photographs I have taken and have used, where the rear of a person is central to the frame. …Of the one’s I have used or have really liked, they were all chosen for a reason. They, like any good photograph, provides that level that causes the mind to study the photograph and to try to find all that is hidden within it.
 
So, in closing, faces are great. You can really learn a lot from studying a face. But, from behind, your mind is left to the realms of guessing, imagination, and the questioning of illusion. In some ways, isn’t that just a more profound way to study life?

Remember, there is wisdom in the unseen.

Shaw & Swamji