Warning: In addition to the judgments below that I have actually confessed to, you will find today’s article sprinkled with several other of my personal judgments.
We all approach photography (and life) a little differently from one another. We have our own philosophy. I very rarely try to “create” something, when I make pictures. Yes, once in a great while I have worked to build an image from my imagination. In fact that was once the mainstay of my creative process when it came to photography. Gradually I began to realize, that it takes more skill (my opinion) to recognize art (or just a good picture), when I see it, and use my own creative vision to bring that to fruition. In other words, add my own personal interpretation to what my eyes see.
Photography (and life), is so often just a matter of philosophy. Judgment is dependent on philosophy.
We all make judgments every day of life. Whether you are a judgmental atheist, or a Christian who carries a Bible all day, you will judge. I am always fascinated by the “new age” emotionalists of this 21st Century. Whether it be on social media, TV, or real life, they love to criticize those that they feel are too judgmental. To put it simple, they are making a judgment, often a severe one (limiting speech, sending to jail), about those they believe to be judgmental. Maybe they need to judge themselves. I am someone who leaves certain kinds of judgment to a higher source. I have “judged” that I need to do that.
When we critique the music, writings, painting, photography, etc. of others, we are making a judgment. I believe it is normal to do that, but we must examine why we do what we do. My personal philosophy is to issue opinions (judgments?) on those sorts of subjects, when asked. My exceptions to that are when any comments I have are positive in nature. When it comes to politics, social injustice, criminals, or many things (via TV, etc.) that are put out there intentionally for the masses, I often make exceptions. They are well aware of the critique that will be forthcoming. Just the same, the critic must always look inside to examine the reason for the judgment. Small mindedness or jealousy on one hand, or maybe righteous indignation.
When I decide what to eat today, I am making a judgment. It is a judgment that primarily, will only affect me. Judgments that weigh on the lives of others, should (my opinion) be made more carefully. If I decide to text while driving, or change lanes on the freeway without looking, those are personal decisions that can have a major impact on others. I don’t do those things, because my personal philosophy is that I have no right to make judgments that can adversely impact innocent people. It’s however my business when it only impacts me. Judgment is dependant on philosophy.
Over the past eight years, I have constantly heard the spew of hatred for those who have wealth, especially those who run large corporations. In more recent years I have often taken up the cause of defending those people, or at least the system that gives us the freedom to become like those people if we choose. It has not always been a comfortable position for me, because there are indeed evil people with money, position and power. Many are elected officials who actually live off of that system, and then whore after your vote on the idea that they oppose those who finance their own politics. Many others would do anything regardless of the harm, just to gain more money and power. Please take note of the use of the term “many” in the above sentences.
Why do I defend this system or these people?
My first reason is because most of the critics I see are hypocrites. If that money was offered to them, they would take every single penny in a heart beat. The one thing they would not do if the money was theirs, is create jobs. They are frequently the same people who find it necessary to brag on every new purchase they make, while degrading the company that made it. My second reason is because my personal philosophy on this subject is to reserve my judgment for those who actually do evil things with their money or power.
Many, many years ago I worked for Chrysler Corporation. A fairly large company. I know nothing about the intentions of the creator of that company. I knew nothing about the purpose of the CEO at the time I worked there. Could be great, could be bad. I do know this, and it came to my 20-year-old mind way back when I worked there. I needed a job and I had one. I did absolutely…..let me repeat that word…..absolutely nothing to create that job. Somebody, maybe greedy maybe not, created it for me. Quite an opinion on my part, considering my basic left-wing hippie “philosophy” of that time. There were always those co-workers who whined and complained on a daily basis, about the greedy company. Let them create their own company. It’s much easier to whine about others than to do something yourself. I decided (a judgment) to be grateful, and let a higher source than I, make the final judgment. That was in fact my philosophy.
We make judgments every single day of our life. How we direct those judgments, and what we consider fair and righteous, is a part of our philosophy. In the end we all have to look in the mirror. Those judgments direct what that reflection will look like.
Now it’s time for you to judge this article. Hopefully you will be comfortable with your philosophy, because that is what will deliver you to your judgment.
It recently came to my attention that someone considered me a bit arrogant (my words not theirs) because I so rarely make comments on the wide variety of social media that I belong to. I must admit that I was shocked that anybody cared. It is true that while I read a fair number of posts, and view even more images, I only comment on rare occasions. You might also note that I rarely post either words or images myself. I don’t post words because that’s what this blog is for. I can say what I want here without anybody being forced to read it as we often are on social media. I rarely post images because I rarely make them, and posting old pictures does itself, grow old.
I do try to make a trip through the Timelines of a few friends on Facebook, once or twice a week. I am more likely to click “like” than comment, because as hard as it is to believe, I often don’t have anything to say.
Also, the luster of Social Media has worn off for me. If I had a rich and full life, once or twice a month would be more than enough for me on Social Media. At one time I criticized some top pros for not putting enough energy into social media. Eventually I came to understand why they ignore it. Now I admire those that choose a different path.
It has been a long time since I have taken a break from showing pictures. I will return to photography and cull my opinions in my next post.
Have a special day and God Bless, Wayne
Good article on judgement…….If I could add to it a few words…….Judgement is a lot about the motive behind that judgement. Judging an image really has no more motive than “I like it ” or “I do not like it”. Judging a system is more different. Wisconsin has one of the top ten armies in the world called hunters. Whether to take their guns away or not depends on the “true” motive. A new health care system is definitely a judgement call. Did we need it? What was the “true” motive? Look at all the false-realities in which we live being sold to us as judgement calls. What is the motive of all of this. Money and power. It is not about helping the guy that is down and out.
I appreciate your comments pal. All judgments great and small are subject to our belief system, our environment, our jealousies, our up bringing, our life experiences, our bias and more. We all make them everyday as it is impossible to function without making judgments. I try to remember my own bias when I make those judgments, but sometimes fail. I am just glad I have lived my life in a country where you can be anything you want. I know this because I hunt for and find new examples of this each and every day. I made a personal decision to celebrate the success I see around me, instead of complain because of my own failures. That and my faith, keep me happy and satisified despite personal issues that have stopped many others.
I owe thanks to my father and especially to my Father for giving me that attitude.