“But there is another kind of seeing that involves a letting go. When I see this way I sway transfixed and emptied. The difference between the two ways of seeing is the difference between walking with and without a camera. When I walk with a camera I walk from shot to shot, reading the light on a calibrated meter. When I walk without a camera, my own shutter opens, and the moment’s light prints on my own silver gut. When I see this second way I am above all an unscrupulous observer” (Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek , 8)
“The term “gesalt” refers to groupings and our tendency to see patterns whenever possible. Human perception isn’t literal. We will close gaps, see motion, make partial shapes into whole ones in ways that are surprisingly predictable” (Johanna Drucker, Graphesis, 57)
Annie Dillard suggests there are two types of seeing which she describes as walking with a camera and walking without (8). These two ways of encountering visuals and understanding images around us makes me think of Johanna Drucker’s discussion on Gesalt diagrams and how human perception isn’t literal. She describes this further and goes on to say ” we don’t simply see what is in a mechanistic way. Instead, what is seen is what is made (57).
Is this type of seeing Drucker talks about “walking with a camera or walking without?” How do we make sense of the two types of seeing both Dillard and Drucker describe?