Mt. Tamalpais Meadow | Mark Lindsay

Dreams and photographs are of the same stuff. The surrealists knew this. To me, the act of photography is like dreamwalking. Tapping into the dream state while walking around with a camera isn't as hard as it might sound. The creative process itself is part dream, part reality, part substance, part essence.

A photograph is a facsimile of a moment, something elusive whose tracings were caught. But, it is hardly real. That's the thing that snags people. The photo is so convincing, they think it's reality. But, like the quantum physicist's measuring device that changes the nature of the matter it's testing, the camera changes the scene it is capturing. The camera changes reality and then turns it into a photochemical or photoelectric reaction. A tiny miracle.

There's a lot of handwringing going on about the digital manipulations of photographs. And it is true that if one is passing off photographic manipulations as cold-hard fact, then there are ethical violations at hand. But, who ever said that photography were reality? It looks more like reality in a representational kind of way, but it still reminds me more of dreams than of the realtime world I encounter on this earthly plane.

There are these places in dreams that are larger than life. Shadow worlds of caricature. Today's image reminds me of a singular moment in a dream where all stands still and we are left to wonder about where we are and of what we are. I love black & white for its romantic distillations. A fundamental question: do you dream in color or in black & white?