Vuja De

I recently read that anthropologists seek out epiphanies through a sense of “Vuja De”. Everyone knows that feeling of déjà vu, the sense that you have seen or experienced something before, even if you never really have. Vuja De is the opposite – a sense of seeing something for the first time, even if you witnessed it many times before. Anthropologists have the refined skill to “see” what has always been there but never noticed. The images from my favorite artists are the perfect example. While looking at the work of my favorite photographer, I realized I have enjoyed the natural beauty of earthen landscapes, but never in the sense they are displayed and captured in images by my favorite photographers.

My passion for photography was heightened after viewing the work of the talented photographers linked above. I have always been interested in photography, but more recently, their work has ignited a new sense of recognition for this “unknown” or “Vuja De” beauty in life. For that I am incredibly grateful and now find myself completely mesmerized by the ethereal perfection of nature. Over the years, I’ve realized attempting to capture this “Vuja De” is both a challenge and an adventure, as it is often difficult to retain the sheer grandeur of tall trees, glistening water, or a painted sky, already pristine in all its glory, but my favorite artists seem to do so with such simplicity. I aspire to achieve the same results one day with my work. My goal as an artist is to open ones eyes, to have viewers look not only at things but through them, beyond them, and to really look, to explore, to see things again for the first time with fresh eyes and a unique perspective.

My favorite artists view the world with eyes like mine, deeply perceptive, gracious, and inspired. Though my travels have been limited to a certain extent, my memory is still latent with beautiful imagery of the places I have seen, however I often wonder how many people pay attention to the subtle beauty of their surroundings. My passion for photography arises from this realization and I hope to ignite a sense of recognition for this kind of beauty within an individual through my work. This sense of Vuja De. I plan to continue traversing this world with a childlike curiosity and hope to cross paths with many more inspiring photographers.

Why I Love Photography

  • It stimulates my childlike curiosity and creates a new sense of wonder
  • It helps me ignite a sense of recognition for this kind of subtle beauty and “Vuja De” for others
  • It helps to create a feeling of gratefulness and often leaves me feeling mesmerized
  • It is a challenge and an adventure
  • It helps me, and others, appreciate the moment. It helps to open ones eyes, and my eyes, to look not only at things but through them, beyond them, and to REALLY look. To explore. To see things again for the first time with fresh eyes and a unique perspective. The power of this arises in the moment.
  • Photography, like fly fishing, becomes a practice of becoming one with nature, with ones subject. When I take a picture of a tree, I see myself. It doesn’t require a camera to do so, but it often helps to focus your lens (or your mind) on something. In this way, photography and painting become a meditative practice, a way of becoming in tune with myself though the experience itself, and I often find that there are answers in the result that I didn’t realize I was searching for in the first place.
  • Photography can connect people to ideas in ways words may not be able to
  • As French novelist Marcel Proust said, “The real act of discovery consists not in finding new lands but in seeing with new eyes.”

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