A Condition of Empathy

I came across this Ansel Adams quote the other day on a wonderful photography blog by  Nicole Gibson .


“As with all art, the photographer’s objective is not the duplication of visual reality. Photography is an investigation of both the outer and the innerworlds. The first experiences with the camera involve looking at the world beyond the lens. Trusting that the instrument will capture something seen. The terms “shoot” and “take” are not accidental: they represent an attitude of conquest and appropriation. Only when the photographer grows into perception and creative impulse does the term “make” define a condition of empathy between the external and internal events.”

This is on my mind  as I am editing  my new work from China and beginning the process of creating a new body of work.

I had some visual goals in mind, that are always very fluid and evolving. I  was looking to see with feeling . To create work that asks questions as well as answers.

It’s a difficult process. I want to create beautiful work, work that keeps up with my own pace as an artist and craftsman, but I often  worry that I’ve shot my last good
image, that everything from here on out is just derivative and cliché. We all struggle with  doubts. There is a creative arc on a trip –  to the flow of making the work and even to the journey itself.

I remembered to  trust the process (most of the time) –  and just kept going…

The Lush Landscape

The Lush Landscape

Terraced Rice Fields in the Mountains

The Li River

3 thoughts on “A Condition of Empathy

  1. These are gorgeous images, Terri!

    I keep reminding myself that this process is good and that it’s what keeps me growing and moving forward as a photographer, but it definitely IS a struggle! 🙂

    • Nicole

      Look forward to meeting you some day…please let me know if you come to New York. I really enjoy your blog and follow your work-we seem to be e on similar paths
      and your work and thoughts inspire me.
      I am glad you wrote and was meaning to write you and tell you I linked to your site…
      lets keep in touch
      all warm wishes


  2. I know, I hope we’re able to meet sometime soon! I’ll look you up if I’m ever in New York, and let me know if you’re ever in Phoenix. I love your work too, and it’s always good to know a kindred spirit 🙂

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