Interpreting Images: Agapanthas and the Night

When the poet Emily Dickinson wrote, “Tell all the Truth but tell it Slant,” she was talking about writing. But she could have also been talking about photography.

Sometimes looking at something, even when improved and beautiful, is not the end. Here’s an agapantha blossom, improved and beautiful.

Agapanthas The Way They Are, Improved by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2013
Agapanthas The Way They Are, Improved by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2013

There are more ways to look at this. More moods to evoke. More ways to interpret the bones of the image, the dried tea leaves. Before long, instead of a beautiful purple flower rejoicing in the sunrise, I’ve got this:

Moonlit Nile Night by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2013
Moonlit Nile Night by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2013

A secret meeting, now or long past, night blossom fragrance (brugmansia or datura) in the air telling, a witness restless in the shadows, ears listening to the conch shell of night.  A flashlight sweeps and circles, searching for the lost, the shadow limb.

Here’s to Emily Dickinson and the many ways we can interpret our images.

Related Posts:

Tell it Slant

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