“The sanest man Sets up no deed, Lays down no law, Takes everything that happens as it comes, As something to animate, not to appropriate, To earn, not to own, To accept naturally without self-importance: If you never assume importance You never lose it..” Lao Tzu
One of the blog posts I regularly follow has been that of Ming Thein (MT)
Over the years his insight into the creative photo process and his attention to detail in technique has always offered new ideas and directions. His clear and reasoned explanations of the elements of a photograph, form, shape, tone, texture, point of view and the like, has always been interesting, and I have to say that not always did I agree, but that is part of the fun of looking at someone’s work.
But MT has called his blog time over.
In the same week, Kirk Tuck over at Visual Science Lab is also calling an end to his current blog as he is off to pursue some video options.
“I see myself writing less and less about new photography gear and new picture making practices. .. I’m not anxious to watch my writing devolve into some personal pathos about lost life opportunities, bad decision making, therapy or diets. Or “how we did things in the golden age of photography.”
I have recently (finally) come to grips with the whole concept that, in what’s left of the commercial imaging world, you can do quite well with a smart phone and a suite of programs to enhance your smartphone photos, with less hassle and less time spent than “doing them the right way.”
Sad to see them both go, but fully understand their individual reasons.
Truth be told, as the weeks of lockdown have deteriorated into months, that I find it much more difficult to warp out words that are relevant and encouraging. There are only so many stories from my own ‘golden age of photography’, only so much pathos that I’d be inclined to share online.
Saw an ad on the tv the other night (Yes, you read that right. Me, watching tv), from Apple. The tag line was, Taken[and Edited] on an iPhone, lots of flashy coloured splashes, and some clever image size, and perspective things to ponder over, and it just confirmed to me that the future of photography is going to do what it has always done. Change, evolve and find new markets, new vision and new visual experiences.
In another life I once made a presentation at a major photographic convention, just at the turn of digital, and indicated as photographers we have always been “on the cutting edge” of technology.
In the beginning we used to shoot only glass plates, then flexible film.
We began with Monochrome Images, who would have thought of colour.
Rangefinder cameras gave way to Single Lens Reflex.
Bulky studio lights gave way to sparkling electronic flash
Formal indoor portraits became rich environmental, tomorrow pictures (as Don Nibbelink coined).
Digital began for us as scanning from negatives and transparencies. Now we think in terms of 61Megapixel sensors and look beyond that.
Not unsurprisingly at the time, a lot of what I said was dismissed as ‘activist nonsense’ by the organisers.
And as my Tai Chi Master would say, “If an art is simply a repetition, then it will fade and die. For the Art to live on and grow it must find opportunity to express the old in new ways”.
Me, I’m looking forward to our times in the field. To look for and work with the birds again. To hopefully bring back some new fresh stories of our amazing natural world.
Been delving through the archives of late. Not much else to do really, amazing to find moments or opportunities with birds that I had overlooked.
White-winged Choughs are a favourite bird. I am happy to spend hours in their company. Many will tell they find them difficult to photograph. To the contrary, I’ve sat on logs in the forest and have them hunt over the log, around my feet and sit on the log and preen. Talking all the time.
Choughness is a compelling life.
This one was only a few seconds before the ‘guard’ in the tree. The communal life means they share various activities among the flock. It had been relieved of its sentry duty and wafted down to enjoy a rummage among the leaf-litter.
Looking forward to the ‘Roadmap Ahead’ tomorrow, or as Sean McCaullif said, “With all this social-distancing, what is the point of being a Hermit!”