about making images

Stan Schaap

That a photographer can make truthful images of reality is a myth. Most of what is going on in physical reality is invisible to eye and camera. Within that limited visibility photographers make different choices about what to include and what to exclude at the time of exposure, based on what they want to see. The appearances in our human perception do not match those at other levels of existence, like that of neutrino particles traveling freely through solid rock. When so many things are being left out, how could our extremely limited vision be realistic and true?

I still think it’s possible to make images that represent something genuine but it will be something only seen in the mind, like an idea or a vision of a plausible world. That would be a truthful record of an inner reality, even when it shows some resemblance to our illusory world of appearances.

Real images are the product of imagination and derive their value from what is being imagined. An old photograph in the attic has no meaning or value until someone finds it and recognizes a representation of an idea or familiar form in it. Only then does it become an image. Suppose there’s a world where billions of automatic cameras are constantly making exposures without a mind being involved, then no matter how many unseen recordings are being made never any image would come to life (my definition of a lonely planet).

Creation comes into being only by sharing. Without a receptive reader, viewer or listener creative work is not happening. Sharing makes creation real, otherwise it never goes beyond intent.

Being retired now, I feel still like a child on a voyage of discovery. The novelty I want to discover most is the vision that seeks expression through me. I want to know fully what I really am, and photography has become my favorite language for letting the unconscious speak. Everything we make or do inevitably reflects the stream of consciousness we represent. We only have to become aware of it.

I happen to live close to a natural park in the dunes, where I love to roam and can open myself easily to every inspiration my mental eye could possibly need. Physically I don’t have to travel far anymore for an image to find me, and mentally I work hard not to interfere with the process, trying to be a useful vehicle for whatever wants to be expressed.

This web site is a medium for sharing my visual discoveries with you. Feel free to enjoy.

Stan Schaap

Castricum, The Netherlands