Well, this may be an obvious one, but perhaps not so obvious in the way he influences my photgraphic work, as much as, say, Gerard Manley Hopkins’ poem “Pied Beauty” does. By the way, just to clarify, it is not the case that these authors or works influence me in an overt, logical way (though there may be times when this is the case), but it is more like the chord which a work strikes resonates someplace deep within me, causing me to make similar music of my own. Does that mean that no work then is truly fromative of my aesthetics, but merely serves to awaken existing ones. I am not sure, but Lewis’ works certainly contain images which certainly created/awakened some kind of longings in me: for snow, for snug little rooms, for certain types of foods, for forests, for greenness, for greyness, for vastness, and the list could go on and on. Not only did Lewis paint such vivid pictures that helped shape such longings, but he also showed the way in analyzing these feelings. In fact, one could argue that his examination of his own longing for what he called “Joy” might be the central unifying theme of his works.
Here is a book about pieces of Lewis’ world which influenced him. And, I must say, that in thumbing through the text and images in this book, I think the authors have done a very good job, in my opinion. I remember being delighted with the book many years ago when I first read it, and now as I am browsing through it again. You can get it through Amazon or through your local library.
In the images in this book, you find the subdued sort of nature photography that you sometimes also find in some BBC movies. They are almost like visual haiku, terse, subtle, yet powerfully moving. I can say that this too influences my work, though I am constantly in tension with the flashy and dramatic as well.