Photosophy by Ern Jacoby PhD

The year 2000 was a turning point for me as a photographer. I hold a little gem of my deceased father in my hands, a Leica M3. And since I develop my skill, the concept "photosophy" expresses best the linking of visual imagery with philosophy: The art of light and the research of wisdom, combined as photo-sophia or photo-sophy.

The speed of light in vacuum is the universal physical constant, postulated as invariance by Einstein in 1905. Light or photons move from an object into the eyes of an observer. And the observer is the observed, but that is a longer story of quantum physicists and sages........ Natural philosophers are fascinated by the energy of light at the beginning of the universe.

Considering photosophy as a mediation between light and wisdom, it is a zen practice. To take a photo like a flash of light in the silence of intuition, fleeting impressions are captured in micro-seconds to condense into an image. Maybe the rising light from another side is a fact. Whatever truth or reality is, there is at this given unique moment no locus neither inside nor outside. Reality lies beyond the photosophers horizon of expectations.

For us photographers this is a well known sensory experience, lost between the past and future, finding ourselves projected here and now within a flash of light. What kind of textures and colours do I see in front of me? How to find a creative angle of vue, best light, sharpness versus bokeh and the right moment. Qualia is the mental subjectivity of what we see, a perception in interaction with the mind and the environment, the raw feeling. „Jpeg“ feeling comes afterwards when appreciating the result.

Photosophy is the research of the hidden beauty within the ordinary!

My personal academic background is philosophy and geology (PhD). With a life-long love and practice of photography, I now fully appreciate the benefits of digital cameras, after my analogical apprenticeship (Contaflex, Minox, Leica M3 and M6) and learning goes on.

carpe diem and keep on shooting


Christel Ehretsmann said:

I was quite interested by your article about the philosophia of light and therefore of photografy...
The observer being the observed...I think is leads to the fact that there is obviously a link or an exchange between both of them...
Light seems to touch the observed person and even steal something from him ...( no wonder african people don't want to be photographed as they think their soul is being stolen at the same time...)
That's the reason why I love photography as a way to fight against death and entropy...Time seems to be stopped that way...
thank you for your thought.and your words
4 years ago

Ern Jacoby said:

Oh I just discover your comment. Thanks. Your link to african people and her soul being stolen touches me. Even with a maximum of respect and attention, every photo seems on razor's edge ... I m no more at ease to take a capture without waiting, observing the situation and asking!
And your thoughts about death and entropy, great to be aware of it and appreciate our passion overall! see you
4 years ago