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Photography is a way to learn about yourself

by Editor Siarhei Mikhaliuk 

“Working on a dream” by Laura Mexia

Seven reflections of the photographer's reality...
Seven sides of the diamond of self-perception...
The ability to gain control over yourself and your power allows you to study the essential things of life,
to sharpen your perception and to change reality.

The life’s crystal includes 7 sides of perceiving yourself as a photographer. To some extent, 7 sides are like 7 steps, deciding the comprehension level of you in the art of photography. In turn, the camera through which a person follows and fixes the environment is merely the means to follow and perceive oneself.
The human essence is diverse; it grips us with its tentacles incessantly, starting with a denser to a more thin state. And if the person doesn’t become one's own master, then one becomes led by different forces raging in the sub-consciousness, exposed to different emotional trends, similar to the paper ship, that is thrown on the rocks by each wave.

The first side of the diamond of perception: Technology
Having taken the camera in hands, the photographer is similar to a newborn child, examining the new toy – the camera. All beauty and magic of this world seems to be created only with its help. The matrix size, the number of pixels, lens aperture and other things determine the quality of a good photo – so it appears to the beginner photographer. And it is right. Right in the way, that the perception of the world and oneself completely reflects the reality.


by Mario Grobenski – Psychodaddy

The second side of the diamond of perception: Reflection on the photographer’s reality
Time passes and the focus of the photographer will move from one point of space to another in due course. the photographer start to look more attentively at what she sees through the photo camera. He observes shapes and lines, observes colours. However, it’s worth noting that on this level of self-perception photographers just fix what they see; enjoying the visible things and receiving pleasure from the  ability of fixing the light. This level may include a lot of tourists who travel to different places with photo cameras and take photos of landmarks and beautiful places. Photographers at this level of self-perception take pictures based on the principle of “I shoot what I see”.

The third side of the diamond of perception: Noticing interactions in the natural world
At this stage the photographer starts to notice interactions between different parts of the surrounding world. Now lines and shapes begin to acquire brevity and line up to laws of composition. Photographers notice connections in wildlife and in people’s life, at this stage the  concept of light is being developed more clearly . Love of the light gets special attention.
The photographer at this stage turns into a kind of canonist, who clearly observes the architecture of photography. From this moment on self-discipline gains importance and the photographer starts to learns to experience the surrounding world and himself consciously.


“Colorful expressionist” by Ben Goossens

The fourth side of the diamond of perception: Finding unity even in opposites
Hard faces start to blur. And it happens that unity is even found in opposites. Suddenly photographers may be interested in more undetermined, blurred shapes within pictures. This interest in transparency is due to the fact that the perception gradually passes to thinner layers and structures of the Universe – from thick to thin.
Photographers now don’t  want to just copy the surrounding world.  Attempts to reflect on perceptions in some way push a photographer on a quest. A lover of landscapes suddenly may start to shoot portraits, and genre photographers as a surprise to colleagues starts to look toward production photography. This sudden affinity to opposition doesn’t mean in any case that photographer goes astray – expanding the world view and ones perception. 
And if the photographer indeed goes through all previous stages of perception, he/she will come to an understanding, that the genre of photography doesn't really seem to matter.


“E n c h a n t e d” by Siarhei Mikhaliuk

The fifth side of the diamond of perception: Reflection on individuality and artistry
When the light falls on the fifth edge of the diamond of perception, photographers are able to show their individuality and artistry with the help of shapes and lines. The intellect and feelings come to harmony and photos can acquire the structure of musical harmony.
The fifth side of the diamond is powerful by the standards of this world, and for the large majority of people it may be the final  side of self-perception, and further forward movement seems to proceed in circles, reminiscent of circus horses.
Only a “fool” with enough inner strength dares to continue the path, breaking with previous stereotypes, which requires sufficient internal strength. At this level the camera does not matter, but the focus is rigidly fixed on individuality and EGO. And it’s obvious, after all, how difficult it was to learn how to finally show it.
At this stage photographers write articles and books, conduct workshops, have a lot of fans of their work. They can notice and express feelings and emotions in their photographs, bringing their photographs to life. However they don’t see the dark side.
It doesn’t matter how many sides of your perception are lit. 
To continue on this path means to be ready for the majority even if not appreciated. Are you ready for this? Is one ready to go in search of the unknown, and to look behind the screen of ones mind… But however strong was the light for the fifth stage, compared to the sixth stage it looks like a lantern in front of the sun.


“dry season II” by Sebastian Kisworo

The sixth side of the diamond of perception: Confidently at peace
The perception determines the power. Everything that we have is perception.
The photographer, who is enlightened by six sides of the perception diamond, is already not fixated on styles and genres, doesn’t have fixed ideas about ideal photography, and the perception looks like the morning sun, which glides smoothly over  the top of the mountains, and lights their spaces more and more every moment. He always shoots and creates, and it doesn’t matter if he has a camera in his hands or not. He is confident and he doubts himself at the same time realizing the brevity of what is happening.
Striving for integrity in photography he gradually comes to integrity for himself.
The focus of his perception moves every time, which allows him to catch the deeper meaning of life.
It’s possible to say, that on the sixth side the division between the photographer and the display space gradually fades out.


“Stay Frosty” by Robert Work

The seventh side of the diamond of perception: Control over yourself
The ability to gain control over yourself and your power allows you to study the essential things of life– to sharpen your perception and to change reality.

To see and recognize photographers with a full perception, with the light of all seven sides, you have to become one.


“A crystal view from my window” by Yvette Depaepe


With special thanks to our proofreader Hans ML Spiegel 


Just came across this article, and enjoyed reading it. So much recognition of my journey :) Thanks for sharing these thought.
different of the common article congratulations to this deep thoughts of photography and (self) perception
One of the best articles I read about photography so far. I especially like the fourth side of perception. Coming from landscapes, moods, macros and abstracts, all of which don't move and don't need to agree for being photographed, I am doing only portraits now, so quite the opposite in the sense of interaction with the subject. And the quote from Richard Avedon "My portraits are more about me than they are about the people I photograph" is more than true in my case. Thank you very much for this excellent read.
Very interesting write-up, superb photos. Well done Siarhei.
Brilliant article!!!! Such amazing perspective and so well related to every artist around!!! Congratulations
You see deeply. Thank you. I am glad.
This is my honor to have my picture in this article. I've never seen myself clearly from all of my works, but I saw me here. " He always shoots and creates, and it doesn’t matter if he has a camera in his hands or not. ", nice quote indeed. Thank you for putting my work in this great article. Cheers, Sebastian
No, Sebastian, it's an honor for me to have an acquaintance with you. It is an honor for me to find such an image. After all, we understand that very much can not be expressed in words and forms of this world. Your image is here! Thank you. Thank you Yvette she is a real master.
Nice article... I'm older, with a lot of experience and still learning every day! Best ben
Thanks you Ben. How can there be another way? This is photography, this is life. I am glad. that your work has found a place in this article. As if she was created for her)) Chose from very many. Thank you!
Excellent. It's a long hard road. There ate many doubts and failures but also a way of live.
thank you Martine. I know everyone will find his place.