The Beholding Eye

Photography & Conceptualizing Beauty

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder has another meaning. If the beholding eye is gracious and has beautified itself then it will pick up the beautiful. When we can’t notice the beautiful, it is not that it is absent. It is just that our vision and gaze has become coarsened (Divine Beauty: The Invisible Embrace, John O’Donohue, Greenbelt).”

A White Ford half-ton awaits restoration and transformation – Vavenby, British Columbia (Summer 2011).

White Ford - Ready for a Rebuild & Owner

11 thoughts on “The Beholding Eye

  1. Thanks for the follow over on my blog. As I looked through your photos, I happened upon this one! Had to laugh…..coincidence with my Day 71 posting!! Ford vs Chevy:)

    1. Hi Angeline:

      Thanks for looking in on ‘The Beholding Eye’ and the Ford vs Chevrolet debate … I’ve never owned a Ford, but did for a year work at Waterloo Mercury (Ford, Lincoln and Mercury) in Edmonton as a student fresh out of High School back in the eighties. I’m not sure, I think I’ve got a picture of the same model Chevrolet someone at the beginning of the blog … I’m curious and will check.

      Take care, …

    1. Hello Shutter Bug:

      Thank you for your kind words and looking in on the Vavenby Ford restoration and the Chevrolet vs Ford debate. I’ve enjoyed looking in on your recent greenery images … that remind of Vancouver Island’s Cathedral Grove.

      With this photograph, there is an interesting interplay of whites that leads the eye’s looking through it – the graduating white of the clouds, the truck in direct sun and shadow and flowers catching light – the variation of bright through darker tones draws me to the image; for clouds, though, you need to be between Whitecourt and Grande Prairie, Alberta to meet with stacking clouds among sunlight and shadows … a mid afternoon in June during the earth’s preparatory work for a thunderstorm. Totally good!

      Take care,

  2. I haven’t seen anything yet that you’ve done that I didn’t like. I look forward to your posts. I had no idea when I started my 366 project that I would meet so many fascinating people with such beautiful photography. Cheers!

    1. Hey there, Gina:

      Me too … it’s a neat thing to share this medium and explore photography together; there’s a recursiveness in seeing photos, reading about intention and what came to pass – the act inspires…. Like you, this 365 day project has me meeting many others who are creating photographs. I think the beholding eye quote applies as much to photography and how we develop within this medium as it does to grace and encouragement that is shared. Thank you for your part in all this … cheers!

  3. I really love your photos-the colors and tones are wonderful-the quote too reminds me of the difference between looking and seeing-if a photographer is open to seeing, then there will never be a shortage of subjects to photograph-nor with there be a shortage of creativity in showing your “sight” to the rest of the world-your photographs amply demonstrate that truism-thank you!

    1. Hey there, Meg …

      The beholding eye is something quite different from eyes that appraise context from the stance of agenda or journey and is indeed tied as key element in the creative act; the beholding eye within the person transformed by and perhaps to beauty is an entity much more able to recognize, witness and celebrate beauty’s subtlety. No doubt John O’Donohue, as former priest, is a few steps past these revelations possibly speaking of a believer’s beautification and sanctity through salvation. He does, nonetheless, point to beauty being divine treasure.

      Thank you for these kind words.

      Take care … 😉

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