Photo credit: Emptiness by Cheri Lucas Rowlands
I don’t know why I am drawn to this photo. I think to me there is something of a mystery about it. Where is it? What is it for? Where does it lead to? The lines of – and the structure within – the photo draw your eyes to the darkness at the back. I want to walk into the scene, to walk along the path into the void.
Is that desire to discover what cannot be seen partial to me? Or is it a reflection of the natural human need to explore, to find answers, to discover what else is out there beyond ourselves? Just like explorers through the ages, be they sailors or astronauts, expanding the limits of our knowledge both physically and mentally.
I think the appeal of the photo – and indeed the unknown – is the mystery. The problem with a mystery though is that it can only retain it’s interest or allure whilst it remains unknown to us. With no context and no background information about the photo it is easy to speculate about – and place our hopes and interpretations onto – it. Of course it is entirely possible that the truth of the picture is rather more mundane than the wild flights of fancy that can be placed upon it. Part of the fun is in formulating explanations for what we are looking at.
The question is: were I to find out the location and purpose of the building, would my impressions, my gut feelings, toward the picture change? How much does our feelings towards something we see depend on our prior knowledge? With my questions unanswered the picture continues to intrigue and interest me. As much as the composition would still draw my eye to the darkness, would I still see a gateway to an infinite number of possibilities if I knew the reality of what it is?
Written in response to the Weekly Photo Challenge: 1000 Words