The butterfly flaps its wings effortlessly for a time. It glides for a moment, catching its breath while enjoying a guiding breeze.
Then another flurry of activity with no apparent destination. Then a sudden gentle landing at some point of interest; something has caught the butterfly’s attention. For another moment the butterfly is busy at its unanticipated destination, and then it is gone, on its meandering way, repeating the cycle again and again in its gentle, unassuming manner.
That is what it is to me to take pictures. At my best, it is something effortless but with a sharp eye. It is something that occurs when my mind is open to experiences. It is something born of a curiosity that is constantly tugging at me, asking the simple question, “I wonder what that would look like through a lens”? In this way the image is created. Sometimes the image results in something that simply “works”; it feels right for whatever reason. That reason may communicate an emotion, or it may simply excite the eye with its vibrant color; it doesn’t matter, it just “works”.
However, the image usually doesn’t work. Many pictures will be taken, out of curiosity, and most of them will be terrible, mute, unimaginative, or even predictable. That thing that initially caught my eye simply can not be made into a picture, no matter how badly I want to capture that thing. At that point I must let the thing go and allow my curiosity to drive me to my next experience and my next possible image.
The resulting pictures, good or bad, are not what is important to me. It is the process that is important. Simply put, the process is to be the butterfly – to be light, nimble, and carefree, pausing for moments of reflection and then quickly floating off in a new direction. Allowing the curiosity and imagination to roam without constraint. That is what brings me personal enrichment. The process- the liberation of that part of the self that seeks greater freedom- that is the reason for taking pictures; the finished image is something secondary, merely a byproduct.
About Matthew Hall
Matthew Hall lives in a quiet corner of the world known as Rhode Island, nestled between Boston and New York. Photography is the thing that gives so much meaning and purpose to his life. For Matthew it is more than just a casual hobby, it provides him with spiritual fulfillment and a different way of interacting with the world. A single-minded hammer-like determination to continue to grow with photography keeps him pushing through those moments when, exhausted and drained, he nevertheless presses on. His favorite quote comes from baseball’s disgraced all-time hit leader Pete Rose, who said “I’d walk through hell in a gasoline suit to play baseball”. Little green plants sprouting up from between the cracks in the pavement bring Matthew joy. [Official Website]