Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Entropy: Discarded Work Glove

APRIL 2nd: You know that all is right with the world when you realized you just learned something. Yesterday, all was right, I learned a new word—Entropy.

In a way, I have been photographing and writing about Entropy for some thirty years, I just didn’t know it because I thought I was photographing and writing about randomness, one of my favorite subjects.

The April Challenge at is Entropy. Now granted you have to dig down pretty deep into Webster’s definition to find something similar to randomness, but it is there—“4. a process of degeneration marked variously by increasing degree of uncertainty, disorder, fragmentation, chaos, etc: specif., such a process regarded as the inevitable, terminal stage in the life of a social system or structure.” Photo Challenge uses American Heritage to expand the definition to include, “the tendency for all matter and energy in the universe to evolve toward a state of inert uniformity.” That is still a little restricting and will preclude many of my favorite subjects. However, I like the idea of giving it a try.

I am not sure that I still do not prefer my choice of randomness, “1. lacking aim or method; purposeless, haphazard.” In photography I like to think of it as spontaneous design. Design that is achieved through other than conscious means, clothes carelessly tossed on a chair, hanging from a hook, discarded, a paint splatter, torn paper. All of it I find fascinating subject matter for photography. I claim that this obsession comes from my inability to color outside the lines, my reliance on order and detail, and it might. Everwhat, it gives me a chance to step outside my abilities to act and I enjoy that.

My favorite randomness subjects have always been those that are in a state of entropy, returning to a uniformity with their natural state and with nature.

So, if Photo Challenge will let me join in I am going to try to meet the Challenge and do one photograph each day during April of entropy although I have already missed the first day. I meant to do that last night after the camera club meeting, but I forgot.

My first entry will be the discarded work glove and I have another idea or two then it is going to get harder. Wish me luck! How many days are there in April anyway?

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