My brother Roger Lee asks me, sometimes, he asks me “Why’d you take a picture of that?”
It used to be “Why’d you take a picture of that?” with ‘that’ being the operative term. Why that thing? What are you seeing that you think is worth taking a picture? Are you crazy?
More and more, though, it’s “Why’d you take a picture of that?” with the emphasis on ‘why’? He’s beginning to accept that I actually have a purpose for photographing the things I do, but he doesn’t quite understand what that purpose is. He understands it’s less about the ‘thing’ in front of the lens and more about…well, something else.
It doesn’t help that I can’t give him a consistent answer. “It’s a condition of light,” I’ll say. Or “It’s the geometry.” Or “It’s the form of the shadow.” Or “Don’t know.”
He accepts “Don’t know” as an answer.