The Third Eye

Unlike many of you reading this post, I am happily, by choice, a humanist (atheist).

A humanist believes in the potential and dignity of human beings and bases their worldview on reason, science, and compassion. Humanists do not accept any supernatural or divine claims, and they value human rights, democracy, and ethical living.

In a purely rational sense, I don’t believe in magic or miracles which, in my very humble opinion, are both natural causes and sciences that we have yet to name, claim, and frame.

But even though, to many, I live a “faithless” existence, I continue to spiritually celebrate all my life experiences of transcendence, mystery, and beauty.

Humanism and spirituality are not strictly incompatible as I define and live both.
I’ve been thinking, lately, a lot about the “Third Eye”.

The “third eye” is a term that refers to a mystical or spiritual eye that can perceive beyond ordinary sight. It is often associated with intuition, enlightenment, and higher consciousness
Different religions, especially Hinduism and Buddhism, believe their followers can open or activate their third eye through meditation, yoga, or qigong. They claim that this can lead to benefits such as enhanced creativity, clarity, and awareness.

I don’t know about all this or that.

But I love thinking about the “Third Eye” as it relates to photography.

In my world, seeing life through a lens, is in fact, experiencing, in a way, your “Third eye”.

It’s that special place where you look beyond the physical and tactical parts of the subjects and objects you photograph, and begin to rely more heavily on impulse, intuition, and instinct.

We look with our eyes but we see with and through our lenses.

How about this powerful quote and message by Garry Winogrand, a renowned American street photographer:
“Photography is not about the thing photographed. It’s about how that thing looks photographed”.

This quote reflects Winogrand’s approach to photography, which was to capture the visual complexity and ambiguity of reality, rather than to document or interpret it.

Winogrand, and thousands of others, were and are masters of using their “Third Eye” in photography.



Jack Hollingsworth