We have discussed at length photography from the point of view of the viewer often leaving aside the initial creative act of the photographer. The central question in all it's simplicity is how to make good photography. I have found much inspiration in exploring the question in other fields of artistic expression. Painting and sculptures have been discussed by many widely in this forum, but making of potery might be the most revealing. Many of us have had the experience of seeing, and in privileged moments maybe even touching, ancient Chinese pottery and especially that of the Song dynasty of the XI and XII century, as for example this example. The perfection and beauty of such ceramics is astonishing and, for me, deeply moving. In the field of making pottery there is one text that has become a reference text worldwide, that of Bernard Leach: "The Unknown Craftsman - A Japanese Insight into Beauty". Leach explores "how to make good things in the present state of society" (beginning of last century, but could maybe, with some right also refer to today's world) and argues for the ancient Song principles of "striving towards "unity, spontaneity and simplicity of form". In my eyes these principles can be highly relevant for photography and implies the act of shooting and seeing scenes, composition, framing, under-statement/over-statements etc. In that tradition form and content is one. Each of these principles I see as relevant for photography but the one I would invite to discuss is spontaneity. Leach argues that spontaneity cannot be taught and related to the relationship between "seeing" and "knowing": "There are many ways of seeing, but the truest and best, is with intuition for it takes in the whole, whereas the intellect only takes in a part". and Leach employs this to the importance of forms and patterns by the following: "Pattern is born, when one reproduces the intuitively perceived essence. When the intuition weakens, pattern becomes no more than a formal design. Design as such is no more than an intellectual composition Pattern is not a realistic depiction. It is a "vision" of what is reflected by the intuition. Pattern is a picture of the essence of an object, an object's very life; it's beauty is of that life"Behind this approach to the importance of spontaneity and the creation of 'good artistic work" (no discussion of art and hopefully no discussion of "essence" either - we have been there!) is the bouddist inspired rejection of excessive self-contiousness which Leach denounce as the opposite of spontaneity. I have found these discussions and the principles of Leach extremely inspiring for not only reflecting on what we have discussed in previous threads but also inspiring when considering my own approach to shooting photos and making photography. What do you think?