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The Shadow of the Photographer
by Rutherford
In addition to our snapshots of friends and family, holidays and special events, many of us also make pictures just because we liked the way something looked – often without knowing why we were attracted to a particular scene. We might photograph two children playing in a park, an old house, or a bicycle lying in the grass – but we don’t know those children, or the people who live in that house, and that’s not our bicycle.

This book offers another way of looking at – and finding meaning in – many of our casual 'snapshots'. Like a flashbulb that briefly illuminates a dark street and which reveals the goings-on in the shadows only when we get the film back from the lab, many of the photographs we make have the power to bring to light the places within us we seldom see.

Poems in time and chance composed in the symbolic language of the unconscious dreaming mind, many of the photographs we are prompted to make are ideographic descriptions of our interior emotional terrain. In the pattern of the visual elements of the scene, we may have intuitively recognised an allegory for something below the horizon of our conscious awareness and to which, with a subliminal tap on the shoulder, our unconscious is trying to bring to our attention.

Preserved like an artefact for subsequent examination, the mantic patterns and parables we have unconsciously ‘chosen’ to record describe not just what is in front of our eyes but what is in front of our soul: the truth which lies just around the corner – that which we know but which the conscious mind cannot or will not see.

By learning to recognise and decode the narratives intuitively incorporated in our photographs, we can discover the beliefs and assumptions through which we define our Selves, plot our course and live our lives. Accordingly, the ‘truthfulness’ of our photographs explored in this text is not a measure of the precision with which they have recorded the Things in Front of our Lens – but the accuracy with which they reflect our private myths about who we are ‘in here’.
ISBN: 978-1-4475-4882-9
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