Aesthetics (es thet' iks), n. The
philosophical study of the qualities perceived in works of art.
(Random House Dictionary)
The significance of a photograph is fully realized when it is considered in the following context -- The making of a photographic images is, in effect, "freezing a moment in time." A particular scene has never appeared exactly the same as it does at that moment, and it will never look exactly the same again. If someone is present to personally experience that moment, and is fortunate enough to retain the scene in some detail in his or her memory, then the moment lives on. But perceptions differ, specific details may be overlooked, memories fail, and people pass on. It is also very difficult, if not impossible, to adequately share that moment with others verbally. Enter the significance of the photographic image.
Photography has profoundly enhanced the quality of my life. The evolution of my vision, cultivated from a photographic perspective, enables me to see what I didn't see before, and the search for the next image leads me to places that I would not have otherwise discovered.
On a cold October morning, as I stood alone on the shore of Moncove Lake , a mist rising off of the water, the whole scene bathed in the surreal glow of the pre-dawn light, I realized that if not for my interest in photography, I would not have been there. Perhaps more significantly, that moment in time, the one that I "froze" as I recorded it on film, would have been lost forever.