“One should not only photograph things for what they are but for what else they are.” – Minor White
Patterns in beach sand, like clouds, are ephemeral, and the mind’s eye intuitively imagines them as other things: humans, animals, plants, emotions, supernatural beings. Some are obvious, others hidden, always subject to each individual’s experiences, state of mind, perception, imagination.
A good photograph reveals something important about the thing(s) or being(s) photographed. Where a photographer points the camera, and how the subject is photographed and presented, also creates a photograph (of sorts) of what was on the photographer’s mind. In photographing sand patterns, the photographer may or may not have seen the “other thing” that you saw, but the photographer likely saw more than just the sand. It may be that the photographer was more drawn to abstract shapes, textures, or play of light. A good photograph challenges viewers to create a story about the image that gives meaning to them.