Octopus’s Garden

Octopus's Garden

(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

Oregon Coast, 2017

There is a charming story behind the Beatles song “Octopus’s Garden”. Apparently Ringo Starr got the idea for the lyrics when the captain of a boat told him that octopuses collect shiny rocks and shells and create gardens under the sea. I like to imagine that the ocean is full of elaborate ornamental gardens, complete with topiary and sculptures, and inhabited by happy fish taking in the sights after swimming a long way for the visit.

Photographers operate similarly, collecting shiny moments and building little gardens out of them that we call portfolios. These too are under a sea of sorts, visible only to those who dive into the depths of the internet, or into an artist monograph, or perhaps into a retrospective exhibition in a gallery or museum. To see the whole ‘garden’ that a photographer has created is to experience that artist’s way of seeing the world to some extent. What results from such viewing is a very special key that unlocks the gates to other gardens, that makes all photographs more exciting and poignant as connections, inspiration, references, and visual dialogues become apparent.

So go swimming! If you like a photograph, go visit the website of that photographer. Immerse yourself in photography books and exhibitions when possible. Find and enjoy the gardens from which great photos grow. There is a lot more to photography than its greatest hits.


Print Availability Signed prints and canvas gallery wraps are available.

About the Prints The watermarks visible on the preview images of this website will not appear on the printed products. See the Store page of this website for details about inks, papers, and signing.

Subscribe to Erin's ThinkOutside Newsletter

Six issues per year and free to subscribe, Erin’s ThinkOutside Newsletter will bring you the latest announcements, musings, tips, updates, and more. Special behind-the-scenes coverage, recent articles, speaking engagements, interviews, and new workshop announcements are all included. This mailing list exists solely for the distribution of Erin’s newsletter and will remain that way!

* indicates required