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 Reflections on the Eyes Mind…..


When a photographer decides to expose a frame of film or a digital sensor it his “Eyes Mind” that is making the choice of what to photograph.  It is in a moment, a Decisive Moment (according to Cartier-Bresson), that the eye’s mind sees a subject, composes it, and exposes it. Once the light is recorded on the photographic machine (the Camera) it looses it’s special characteristics, it’s uniqueness in the live world that made it special and worthy of recording. It is at this point that many a worthy photographic idea is lost because the photographer does not have the capability or the desire to carry the process of revealing the unique character of the image to the world through proper presentation. This is again the realm of the Eyes Mind. In a darkroom or before the monitor of the computer, it is now imperative to recapture within the print the quality of the original experience. Anyone can capture an image with the camera. It is the artist that recreates the experience with the final presentation. It is the extensive time spent in the darkroom or in Photoshop that brings the original experience back to the print for the public to relive.

The recreation of the image the Eyes Mind beheld is paramount to the process. The camera captures the information only. As a computer has no innate intelligence… “Stupid in – Stupid out”… so goes the camera. It is the follow-up, the printing of the image, the presentation of the Eyes Mind’s experience that creates the compelling final print. What is it that stopped you for the moment and made you take the picture? That experience is what must be strived for in the final print. That can only be revived by reliving the moment in the Eyes Mind in the darkroom or before the computer, bringing considerable training to the process of printing and being able to dredge up the now lost experience of excitement.

It is through the Eye’s Mind that great images are created for the world to savor. The camera starts the process and the print ends the process, but throughout it is the Eyes Mind that is working to create the art in photography.
Herb Benkel

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