Talkin’ Photowalkin’

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In the crisp winter, between Scott Kelby’s two wussy Photowalks, a couple of flickr friends and I did our own… in the bleak midwinter.
Slideshow of that walk.

My set from Kelby’s WorldWide Photowalk.

Recently, though, members of two different local groups I am active with participated in Scott’s second World Wide Photowalk.

I entered the maximum two entries, and that’s done. I needed to choose between two different versions of a candid portrait of a man I met sitting on a mall bench on Fayetteville Street. Maybe I was the wuss that time; I chose the image that was the preferred treatment of the opportunity, based on a query I made of other photographers (all skill levels). Their preference was to use the simpler version, better isolated from the downtown environment around him, and filling the frame.
Robert Sings

I still can’t shake the feeling, though, that I find the other version preferable, in that it puts him in context, true to my impression of what a downtown photowalk might be. I like the fact that it includes the “distracting elements” found objectionable by those who responded to my query. It’s not a “better picture”, but it is a different picture –one which is an authentic impression of my time and place and interpretation of Photowalk Raleigh NC. Thus:
Robert Sings

Since I don’t mind being disagreed with, chime in, if you want.

Shake It Off

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Shake it Off - Photosharing on Flickr(dot)com

Shake It Off

Originally uploaded by Nikographer [Jon]

“the journey is the best part, but they often shake it off”

Nikographer [Jon] on, and on (one of) his own blog(s) :

Those who know me, know I like a well-turned paragraph or two, but at heart, I stand in humble appreciation for the few words that capture/suggest a Whole lot more.

Jon’s photographs, as well as his words, are increasingly elegant over the last very few years he’s been photographing, passionately.

"Notice [that] when the energy is in the photographs. . ."

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I’m not sure how this applies to actually Making the photo, but it reminds me of something I noticed when a powerful jazz sax musician in Wilmington, Larry Price, “hit” the first measure in a performance in what was a hub of creative interaction at that time, the Caffe Phoenix. As usual, the room was abuzz with people trying to be heard over each other. Larry’s first musical exhalation dramatically Raised the energy in the whole room, and No One could speak for several beats. It wasn’t because he was loud, though he had plenty of volume, nor was it because the piece was intrinsically punchy, though it was; it was because he Meant it, I think.. because he Breathed authenticity, passionately and humbly. Those qualities made the moment, the music, and Larry noticeable and unforgettable to me.

Photographer, Paul Tornaquindici, quotes mentor, John Paul Caponigro :

“This is the most important thing I will say all week… Notice [that] when the energy is in the photographs being shown, it gets quiet in the room. When there is little energy in the photographs we have to create it.“

Tornaquindici’s work has some of the more interesting “energy” I’ve seen in landscapes, without being crassly dramatic, from Iceland to Namibia.

I’ve noticed two things about Tornaquindici, as he presents his galleries of work:
a) each body/location of landscape work was made in a concentrated, intentional foray. He went “there”, intending to find his authentic views of the place and time, yet open to what the place would show him.
b) he credits the people who served as guides for him, both photographically and geographically, as well as “spiritually” in effect. He doesn’t seem to have gone there full of himself. Yet, to me, his images seem filled with his particular vision, born of his openness to seeing freshly.

Maybe that’s the key?
When one is on a personal frontier –vulnerable, appreciative, sensitive, enthused, curious– the work one does can carry that sense of Being Alive.
Maybe one doesn’t even have to be as experienced as Paul Tornaquindici for his/her work to transmit WhatEver energy one has brought to the process of photographing.

Worth noticing?