Order Out Of Chaos

The world is by its very nature a chaotic place. For the photographer there is a driving need to apply the order of the art of composition onto this chaos, creating the illusion of harmony where in reality there is none.

This art of photographic composition is about bringing disparate, competing elements into a harmonious whole. Put another way it is a way of creating an image of order out of the real world of chaos, that can only be captured in a fleeting moment in time. Order out of chaos is an illusion of course but that is the reality of photography, nothing is really real so to speak, it only seems so.

Even this snapshot in time of harmonious order is subjective and is inevitably tinged with the personal prejudices, experiences and biases of the individual photographer. "one man's meat etc".

Interestingly, what speaks to one person does not to another. Did any of the places represented in the images above truly look like that in whatever passes for reality in the human mind? Nope! So can we, as photographers, truly bring order out of chaos? Well absolutely not, the best we can do is to create a transient subjective illusion of it, limited by our own vision, emotions and experiences plus (to an extent) governed by the technology we deploy to do so and our ability to apply it.

Thus one of the first and most important steps in mastering the art of photography is to learn to understand, accept and thrive on chaos. Only then can we begin to make representations of moments that provide those illusions of order, namely well composed and executed photographs.