I try to follow, at least in a rudimentary fashion, the equipment revolution that is occurring today in the world of photography. I know Canon now has its 64 mega pixel cameras on the market. I know that the resolving power of sensors is at levels that we all thought were still years off. In reality, it was silly to think that. Technology struggles to make headway up to a certain point, but once it succeeds, it then becomes a snowball. The bigger it gets…..well the bigger it gets. The future of photography is today.
Many of the images that I see today, are so breathtaking in their detail, so pure and clean, that it would seem we have hit the maximum that any of us should expect. But alas, the snowball will keep getting bigger.
In addition to the advances in equipment, there is certainly an advance in the sheer numbers of people marching into the field armed with the latest tools available. A few are inferior to the tools they have in their camera bag, some sell themselves out to the copycat mentality, but many are producing work worthy of the equipment they use. Evert speck of this planet, natural and manmade, is being interpreted in an almost infinite number of ways, on a daily basis. I suppose I should be happy that it is unlikely that I will ever again be a part of this revolution. I am sure if I was, I would at times gripe about all of that competition. I am just as sure, that ultimately I would learn to love it. I mean right this minute, I want to strap on the latest equipment I can get my hands on, jump in a car, and drive to the Pacific Ocean, making images on each and every path my spirit chooses to wander. The truth is, I would love to be a part of it.
If you are struggling to be a photographer, and you see the endless parade of people with cameras, and the never-ending sea of new equipment choices that are necessary to make your journey, do it anyway. Find a way. Sitting on the sidelines, is far more painful than all of the sacrifices that will be necessary to travel that road. Never mind the prize at the end, just enjoy the journey. I’ve always believed that you never know until you go, and trust me, I have now done both, and the alternative to participating, is always the lesser of the two.
Puffin with dinner by Mark. A sister image to this shows this bird pictured not quite this tight, as it lands. I’m quite sure that image is a substantial crop. Of course, the photo below is an extreme crop. This wasn’t even possible a few years ago. Wildlife will hopefully experience a benefit from the fact that photographers really don’t need to get very close anymore. The increased numbers of wildlife photographers in recent years, and their desires to “get the picture” at all costs, has exacted a toll on the wild world.
Laughing Kookaburra by Darren Song Hg.
An amazing image of starry skies, rock and surf by Kuca Sanna Luka.
I love abstract photography. Recently Art Wolfe was in Iceland and he returned with an entire portfolio of aerial abstracts of that graphic land, and he has been sharing them. I have been drinking them in like a fine wine. The Justin Reznick photo below is the sort of things dreams are made of. It stirs my imagination.
While I’ve never been a true drifter in the sense of homelessness, I have been a drifter of the heart for all of my life. The wanderer, the little boy who always got into trouble for “going too far”, was in many ways a drifter. I was so interested in what’s over the next hill, that I often forgot where I came from. That continued into my photographic years. The wanderer is a drifter on the inside.
In the 1960s one of television’s most popular shows was The Fugitive. He was an innocent man who was convicted of murder, but escaped when a he broke free during a train wreck, while on his way to prison. He drifted across America working odd jobs and wandering (drifting), in hopes he might find the man, who he believed actually committed the murder. The police were always after him. Almost every episode produced a narrow escape from the law. A pretty grizzly way to live.
A poll was conducted by a news organization to ascertain just why America liked this show so much. An overwhelming response brought the same answer by the vast majority. They were envious of Richard Kimball, the character on the run. They were envious. I was still a young person but when I read the poll I realized that I agreed with the majority. The concept of roaming the country, free from responsibility, going where you want to when you want to, was magic. To me….and most of America. All this, despite the fact that there was an obsessive police officer also wandering (not drifting) America trying to place Dr. Kimball, in prison. The freedom and adventure of the road, was worth the downside to most of America. Deep down inside, most people want to drift, or at least wander.
As soon as I got a car and a driver’s license I began to wander, and always dreamed of drifting, wherever the wind, or at least the open road, would take me. I was a great wanderer but never quite made it as a drifter. I was sort of drift-less or without drifting. I always came home……sooner or later
Through the variety of subjects I have photographed, and the variety of styles I’ve used in creating those pictures, I’ve tried to show that good things can happen through wandering.
If for some reason you cannot wander (or drift) the open road, then there is a journey to be had in your own back yard. Grasses, flowers, butterflies, squirrels, rain, dew, snow, that old wooden chair with the paint peeling off……the journey is deep in abundance and it is just waiting for you, the wanderer.
Make today special, Wayne