"When the soul wants to experience something she throws out an image in front of her and then steps into it." [Meister Eckhart's words are] an evocation of the image as a threshold leading to new dimensions of meaning. Symbolic images are more than data: they are vital seeds, living carriers of possibility." — Ami Ronnberg In a sense, I think in every photograph, with or without any consciousness of doing so, the photographer "throws out an image" ... "and then steps into it." Most photographs are not explicitly symbolic. Presence of symbolic content in a photograph is almost always simply an instinctive response to a meaning we "already know." I've been wanting to post a thread on Symbols for a while but have had a hard time figuring out how to keep it from being to amorphous and/or too theoretical. I've picked "Sky" to start with because it seems to me it should be relevant to just about any photographer. I think "sky" in photographs has made or broken more photographs than any other single ingredient in the history of the medium. Why is that? What difference does one sky make from another? Why do you look at a series of proofs and pick one sky over another? Why did someone steal iLOVEnature's sky (see this thread)? Why did Ferdi (fwstutterheim) write of his landscape (in this thread) "I went there four times and was not very lucky with the clouds. Eventually the desired clouds emerged but then most of the flowers were gone. I'll try again next year." "There was a time when we lived at a great and respectful distance from the sky. The sky was a huge, inverted blue bowl, a vast tent, a great metallic plate arched over the earth. It was the home of God or it was God, or the great goddess Nut bending over, sheltering the world. The sky was so vast, so high, so far away that only birds and mountains could reach it." "Now we can venture into the sky on planes and rockets and leave our footprints on the moon. We say now that 'sky' is the upper part of the envelope of gasses (primarily nitrogen and oxygen) that enclose the earth. The old image of 'sky' rests uneasily next to the modern idea of 'space.' " "Clouds are part of an endless, reciprocal exchange between the ethereal and the earthly, moving between formlessness and form." "Contemporary poet Nan Hunt refers to fog as, "The mummy wrap of soft white / that hints of resurrection." "Anyone who has waited in anticipatory silence for the sun to glide like a molten hallelujah out of the sea, or ventured forth as the vast engine of the city comes alive in the morning sunlight reflecting off river and skyscraper; anyone whose creative thought or intuition crosses the threshold from inception to epiphany resonates with the ages-old veneration of the daily or seasonal rising of earth's own life-sustaining star." — all quotes above are from The Book of Symbols What does sky symbolize for you? What makes you wait for it?