Posted by: Bruce Proctor | May 5, 2008

Why I photograph.

I began photographing in 1981 while living at a Zen center. Until then, I had never truly seen the world. Photography taught me how to see. I fell in love with the process immediately. I found neat things! With a view limited to the rectangle of my camera’s view finder, the whole world was absolutely fresh and unexplored and filled with marvels. After 27 years, I find more marvels now than ever. Far from having used them up, they increase in range and number!

(Also amazing to me is that even as my standard of excellence grows more sure and demanding– which certainly thins more and more the ranks of the work I regard as great– my aesthetic range and fullness of appreciation actually widen to include more and more.)

I continue with photography rather than another medium because, the fact is, that the world presents me with wonders beyond anything I would ever have imagined on my own. I am often surrounded with a living mystery which is so astounding I’m hardly able to stand it.

I am often amazed at the lack of imagination I see from photographers. With my work, I hope to demonstrate that we haven’t exhausted the possibilities of beauty actually present in our world. We don’t have to use tricks! Here’s the evidence! When I see the same cliche for the ten thousandth time, I remember that we’ve only exhausted the poor, dusty world of our own habit and mind.

Art is about touching the living nerve of life.

An early photograph (ca. 1981) “Whale, Cloud, Reservoir” Catskill Mtns, NY

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