Inert but Sensitive

The Sound of One Hand Clapping, Pultneyville, New York, negative October 1957; 1960 gelatin silver print

Minor White: The Sound of One Hand Clapping, Pultneyville, New York, negative October 1957; 1960 gelatin silver print

The state of mind of a photographer while creating is a blank…For those who would equate “blank” with a kind of static emptiness, I must explain that this is a special kind of blank. It is a very active state of mind really, a very receptive state of mind, ready at an instant to grasp an image, yet with no image pre-formed in it at any time. We should note that the lack of a pre-formed pattern or preconceived idea of how anything ought to look is essential to this blank condition. Such a state of mind is not unlike a sheet of film itself – seemingly inert, yet so sensitive that a fraction of a second’s exposure conceives a life in it. (Not just life, but “a” life). – Minor White, The Camera Mind and Eye