Holistic Photography: Philosophy is literally a love of knowledge. It is fascinating, and often impractical. However, the concepts and ideas will enrich your thinking, and therefore also your photography.

Reading the original philosophical texts will give you the best understanding of what the author intended to say. But wading through Kant and Heidegger takes time; which many people don’t have.

Holistic Photography emphasises the importance of the Idea behind the photograph. Challenging ideas are good nutrition for the brain; reality TV is the equivalent of junk food. Keep your mind healthy, open and constantly improving to safeguard its ability to create at the highest levels.

These summaries of great philosophies will only ever point towards the idea itself. To open them up, it is essential to read the original texts and then contemplate what has been written. Without doing this, words are just knowledge. They can be called up to impress a dinner-party guest, but we want to go deeper than that.

To get the most out of a particular philosophy, you will need to reflect on it to provoke and internalise your own understanding. Nietzsche’s aphorisms, for example, are easily misunderstood by the casual reader.

How are these ideas related to photography? Few are directly; perhaps there are some concepts from Aesthetics that may be practically applicable. But our ideas and beliefs colour what we see; even allow us to see what others would miss.

Holistic Photography is as much about learning to See as it is about taking pictures. Understanding these ideas, even if you do not agree with them, will serve this greater goal.

Aesthetical, Ethical, Religous Stages of Existence. Kierkegaard: Founder of Existentialism