"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?

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