“A lone photograph can stir volumes of thought. We must only open our mind’s eye and like the camera, interpret the light captured in that moment –– between subject and photographer.” –– the Author.
Okay, so I’m hopelessly infatuated by the photographic medium. Have been since my youth. Will be “until the cows come home.”
We met this artistic story telling tool in the age of the Kodak Brownie owned by my mother over 60 years ago. The early years were not really creative at all. Rather, I believe that as a kid, it was a much better, more interesting thing than any other item in the toychest. Fast forward to college and the introduction to formal artistic training, film technique and theory, home based darkrooms and, the realization that, wow, one can make money with this thing! Enter the Wedding Photographer. Becoming totally comfortable shooting portraits of fellow man and… woman. What fun. Learning. Frustrating. Rewarding. Then, real life, real job, real family and more cash needed than the camera could generate. Change. Photography becomes a meaningful distration in the mid-years. A continued past-time, but we were always driven to be better, see more, interpret more and to concentrate on tried and true theories of artful composition. Professional career retirement. Damn, the world has gone photographically digital. Film becomes nearly obsolete. Digital equipment enters the scene as an expensive film alternative and its cost skyrockets right along with the technology. But we returned, no matter the expense. Software becomes the digital darkroom. This is so much better. Total control of exposure, color saturation, contrast, definition in light and shadow. We can digitally replicate what the eye actually tells our brains we are seeing. This is new and exciting. There is limitless possibility.
But, we must tell a story. We must write. We must be an author. We’re thanking our lucky stars that thought comes easy, maybe too easy. Each image we publish must mean something to the viewer, but a gentle nudging in direction is certainly helped by accompanying an image with writen word. We all seek meaning when visiting the virtual galleries of our favorite artists. This is where we will always be most constructively dissatisfied with our work –– and we should always be so. Then, there’s the realization we are practically unkown, even after an almost a fifty-year body of work. Sure, we’re published, but we were never “discovered.” Big difference. Millions of photographers and authors are making their living in countless unpleasant ways –– not pursuing their own infatuation, if not on highway medians with hands out. So be it. Our story will not have impact on great numbers. Really, we don’t seek notoriety. Life is to good to be disturbed by fame and fortune. The career we chose forty-seven years ago took care of that.
If we must have a goal in the pursuit of this infatuation, it is this simple concept: If we touch one life with an idea that lends comfort, encouragement or creates within that soul, the desire to make change –– that will be reward enough. And though we may never know there was a touch, an enlightening, a raising of spirit among our audience, that’s okay. We understand the silence of this process. Everyday, life is going to throw a challenge our way. Challenged enough we seek inspiration. With an almost lifetime of photographic archives at our disposal, we’re fortunate enough to be able to remember a time when we found light between subject and photograhper that fits the challenge. That’s the image we celebrate in the moment.
Inspiration comes from a lone photograph –– and the interpretation it stirred, in our mind’s eye…