I think when we first start making photos, we see life and then we see how it looks in images which in turn feeds the desire to see more of life. As we begin to study and practice photography further, we go through the whole process of mimicking others work, aesthetically and such, which is important in the learning process. I do feel however it is essential to continue seeing life first or we end up seeing images first and getting stuck in formulas which are not our own.
In his own life, Matthiessen found a home in Zen. As he writes in “The Snow Leopard”: “In the longing that starts one on the path is a kind of homesickness, and some way, on this journey, I have started home.
You find photographs in so many different ways – from chance encounters, from looking at your negatives, from the way the light hits your pillow in your home, from a sound or a movement that makes you look… It’s whatever draws you or makes you feel something. Then, the picture is only good if it has a life of its own. Every photo is almost a fiction or a dream. If it’s really good, it’s another form of life.
PAL boxing gym, Bridgeport, Conn., 1991. A few more here.