A Gathering of Beagles

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A few months (really? that long? whew!) ago, a group of friends and peers, all photographers, from my old community met at the New Hanover County Library to do more than reminisce. Not that there wasn’t some bemoaning of “young know-it-all digital wanna-be’s” and the decline in prices once billable for what we offered in services; yet what was also present was a renewed sense of appreciation for each other and our contributions. More than once on our last day, I heard “I’m pleasantly surprised at how this gathering went, and I’m looking forward to next time.” What we will do with that opportunity does remain to be seen, but a recent posting on the Rangefinder magazine’s blog, AfterCapture, brought it all to mind, again.

Here’s a line from that blog, by Ethan Salwen, to tease you:

“The majority of photographers I interview are between 45 and 55, and they possess a depth that younger photographers do not. Yes, there’s something wonderful about the raw energy of the younger photographers I meet. It’s just that this energy might fizzle…”

I posted the link to the Facebook page of a group of photographers here in Raleigh, NC,  RPG (Raleigh Photography Group), and was rewarded by a message of appreciation. I felt compelled to respond, thusly:

As “wise” as we are, we do forget our own gifts, but most especially when we are facing so much change, around us.

selfie, using an android app

 

 

Somehow, I think the trick may be to be Willing to change, And to keep true to what gifts we carry.
I think the day and the future are “right” to challenge us, so we don’t give too much credence to the husk of what we’ve made up about life, and so that we Do remember to stay present, conscious, curious, and grateful… therefore, growing.
Those who are making the day/future would also do well to listen and evaluate what we old-timers have to say, too. Neither is All right.. each has a piece of it. Only by taking heart and connecting with each other can we keep what is true alive and vibrant, I think.
Making new images doesn’t hurt, either, eh?
One re-minder that comes to me, occasionally, goes something like this: “you are most who you are when you are in the Turn from one endeavor to the next”.

(I’d love to attribute that paraphrase to whoever said what I’m paraphrasing, so if anyone knows where that came from, a comment would be welcome.)

All Whining Aside.. Photographer’s Phuture.

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a nice picture of a tree I sometimes think of a line in (I think) a movie (maybe a play?) about a photographer, in which he says something like “you’d be surprised how few people will buy a nice photo of a tree”. (Somehow it reminds me of Clint Eastwood, in ” ..Bridges..”, but it probably wasn’t.) I thought of it, again, when this came up, linked in a posting by a fellow photographer, Sterling E. Stevens ,

Two Different Approaches to Discussing Art and its Future

Photography, HUUH!!, What is it Good For?

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Politics, Religion, Art, Photography, etc.

A discussion thread on the Flickr site, in a group established around a particular camera, includes several personal statements as well as some open explorations on that the member who posted it calls a photographic “Paradigm Shift”. In his last two paragraphs, working professional photographer, and Nikon reviewer, Gerard Prins, makes a couple of personal statements:

Purpose lies not in choosing Nikon over Canon (or v.v.), but it does in purposely & knowingly choosing…(my edit).. purposely breaking the rules and purposely pursuing a personal style or point of view.
Purpose combined with talent creates Art, and creating Art is reserved – thank heavens – to those who purposely dedicate their lives to doing so.

Let’s all thank digital for largely eliminating the technical barriers that once separated amateur from pro, allowing amateurs to raise the bar a notch or two and forcing all of us to – once again – concentrate on what photography is all about: talent, beauty & art.

That’s a point of view, alright –one that’s echoed a Lot in so many places. The last segment of that last sentence is one that finally moved me to respond, though, as it seeks to assert “what photography is all about”.
That merely raises the question mark, in me, but it’s the question that I believe each of us answers in some way or other, unique to “who” each of us is, at any one point in time, and to what our personal vision inspires us to attempt or to stand for.
Like politics and religion, “What is photography about?”, is at Best, the question that we each can use to true ourselves up to a vision.. or at Worst it is the question that can be used to “justify” or argue (same difference) a point of view ( to be “right” about it, in a limiting way).
At it’s most neutral, and most profound, though, photography is about
1) whatever the person who practices it is about
2) whatever the viewer perceives it to be about
3) whatever any of us can invent it to be about from here forward.
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