Welcome to Inner Wits

Many photo and design blogs focus on gear, on technique, and on “how to become a professional”. This is not one of those.This blog is about what inspires me to make images.  I hope you will find inspiration here, too.We live in bodies, so most of us are aware of the five inner senses (or “wits”, as Shakespeare described them.)  Taste, touch, smell, sight, and sound each correspond to tongue, skin, nose, eyes and ears.  Not all are intact in each of us, and not all of us fully use even that which is intact, but these are the primary channels of input for human experience on this planet.Socrates, Shakespeare, and others also described a group of five inner wits.  The precise list is not widely agreed upon, but this set serves me well:

  • common sense (an ability to formulate a model from a variety of input from the external senses),
  • imagination (the ability to form images of things in our minds),
  • fantasy (the ability to conceptualize and visualize things that have not been experienced),
  • estimation (or instinct, a subconscious, perhaps innate “knowing”), and
  • memory (ability to recall past experiences).

So why is this important to a photo blog?

When we understand what impels us to make and share images, we make better images.  Yes, the gear helps make it possible to capture the image.  And technique helps make the image legible.  Rules of composition, technical perfection, the magic moment, the perfect light… we’ve come to accept these as the holy grail of salable images.

Yet, images that possess none of that still rise to the level of art, win Pulitzers, and change worlds.

Images that engage our inner wits engage our desire to create meaning. Once that happens, our willingness to travel with the artist increases, and we can be moved — however slightly — we can be moved into a new relationship with our world.

My definition of art starts there.

Finding one’s unique voice starts there, too.

In this blog, a kind of daily journal, I am simply going to post a photo, and tag it with one of the inner wits. Sometimes an essay, observation or poem will accompany it.  Experiments and conversation-starters these entries are intended to inspire discussions about the artistic value of connecting the inner wits to outer expression.

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