Order out of Chaos? – Photography

by John Neel

Clouds - © John Neel

Clouds – © John Neel

 

Some photographers say that they photograph in order to make order out of chaos.

Why would they say that?

If in reality nature is chaotic then any image that attempts to show it otherwise is a false image of the real world. The photograph of the world does not change the chaos. It doesn’t change the nature of the world or reality of the universe. It does not change the actuality of how the real world acts. Rather, it produces an imaginary representation that does not naturally exist in nature.

To me, creating order from chaos would be like making everything exactly the same. It implies that the natural world is not good enough or interesting enough. To create order out of chaos seems to suggest that every tree needs to look like every other tree and every face like every other face. Which would imply that every image needs to look like every other image.

Yes there seems to be a certain amount of order in the universe. Of course the world is full of similar things, but all those similar things contain a certain degree of variation.

If the world was full of perfectly consistent things, the world would be much less dynamic, a lot less spirited, and far less intriguing  Even within all the various categories of things, It would be difficult to impossible to tell one single thing from another. The world would be bland and boring. Photography would likely be dreadfully dull.

It is chaos that makes this world interesting. While our world has sameness within structures and living organisms, those similarities are apparently never exactly alike. Even the things we think of as ordered in the world are subject to the chaotic rhythms of motion, scale and time. They were born out of chaos and change with the wind, the waves, the seasons, time, light and other forces of nature. Everything that lives does so in a continuous fight for survival.

Even fractals are chaotic. While difficult to imagine, no two snowflakes are exactly the same. Fractals are repeated chaotic patterns that form the infinite shapes of much of the worlds design.

Separation - © John Neel

Separation – © John Neel

 

Order is more of a man-made invention. It is the order of bricks and mortar. It is the precision engineering of a computer, a watch, a modern camera or smartphone. It is the order of the assembly line. It is the way we humans build things. Even then, there are flaws and discrepancies that can be detected when carefully inspected and with careful scrutiny. You might say, that nothing in thgis world is absolutely the same as anything else.

Creek In Morning Light - © John Neel

Creek In Morning Light – © John Neel

 

 

 

The structures of bee’s wings, tree leaves, flower petals, fish scales, blades of grass, and waves on water are among the things that we might think of as ordered. Yet, those things become chaotic in the scheme of the entire environment when they scatter, change, and evolve. While the basic structures are similar, the individual remains at the very least slightly different.

Our world is in constant motion. It is in constant flux. All the things that seem to be the same are only the same for an instant in the scheme of the universe and the scheme of time.

Everything is moving around everything else. The planet is moving at an incredible speed through an ever-expanding space. Every creature is its own entity, which is constantly moving with life and breath.

Order out of Chaos? I don’t think we really want that.

Personally, I find all of the chaos to be extremely fascinating. I am in awe of the natural state of the world and the universe. It is what I find exciting. Diversity is what makes the world more picturesque, more beautiful and more fascinating. Variation is the thing that allows us all to see the world in fresh new ways from our own vantage point and with a variety of perspectives. Variety is what allows the world to be fresh and new as we move from moment-to-moment, day-to-day, and place-to place. It is what gives our eyes pleasure and keeps our senses aroused.

Perhaps those photographers actually mean – to make sense of it all (chaos). But that would imply perhaps looking at the world for what it is.

I would say that I photograph chaos so that I can see life more clearly.

 

NOTICE of Copyright: THIS POSTING AS WELL AS ALL PHOTOGRAPHS, GALLERY IMAGES, AND ILLUSTRATIONS ARE COPYRIGHT © JOHN NEEL AND ARE NOT TO BE USED FOR ANY PURPOSE WITHOUT WRITTEN CONSENT FROM THE WRITER, THE PHOTOGRAPHER AND/OR lensgarden.com. THE IDEAS EXPRESSED ARE THE PROPERTY OF THE PHOTOGRAPHER AND THE AUTHOR.

 

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