For years now I’ve attempted to draw parallels between photography, and real life…..so to speak.
While I am in favor of knowing where you are and where you’re going in both photography and life, often there’s a benefit to the alertness and attention to detail that results from not knowing where you are, or what to do. We become more cognizant of our surroundings when we don’t know where we are. We also pay more attention to our journey when we are not sure where we are going. We notice every bend in the highway and every crossroad becomes important.
When I used to make my photo journeys, like any thinking traveler, I would plan my next stop by figuring out which road to take. On every trip I made, I left room (when I traveled alone) to simply head in a different direction on impulse. Many of my greatest revelations (and pictures) occurred when I didn’t know where I was going. The same has been true with my life. Every once in a while you just have to head into the unknown. It keeps you sharp and perceptive and moving ahead.
Sometimes, you have to get lost before you can be found.
David Whyte says it better than I can.
“Eventually we realize that not knowing what to do is just as real and just as useful as knowing what to do. Not knowing, stops us from taking false directions. Not knowing what to do, we start to pay real attention. Just as people lost in the wilderness, on a cliff face or in a blizzard pay attention with a kind of acuity that they would not have if they thought they knew where they were. Why? Because for those who are really lost, their life depends on paying real attention. If you think you know where you are, you stop looking.” ~David Whyte
Never stop looking.
It’s funny, two days ago I posted a link to my 5/12/13 Mother’s Day post (from this blog) on Facebook. Yesterday I took my daily stroll through the quagmire that Facebook is, and noticed that I was short two friends in number. I have no idea, nor do I care who they are, but as will always be the case with me, it started me thinking. Further checks on my part show a handful of people clicked on my Facebook link to the Mother’s Day post, and a few of them ventured on to other posts. Non of the posts that were read, contained political, religious or social commentary by me. I have no way (nor do I seek one), to know who these people are, or why they chose to leave me. That’s if it actually was those particular ‘clickers”, who severed our friendship.
The truth is of course, I don’t know a thing about most of my Facebook friends, and that’s the way social media works. What I would love to know is, was it poor writing, poor imagery, flawed thinking, or boredom that meant they needed to separate themselves from me? Did they fear it would rub off on them? Did they require something from me such as “liking” their Timeline page or commenting on a photo to prove myself worthy of their “friendship”? I am always fascinated by people and why they do what they do.
One of the great things about social media is you can pretend to make friends with those you’ve never met, and you can pretend to cast aside those same friends, without ever having to explain or defend any actions you may take.
I knew there was a reason that I liked Facebook.
If the paragraphs below have no break, it is because I wrote them elsewhere ( I usually do) and copied and pasted them into this blog. They appear to me with breaks, but as a finished product ready for viewing, those breaks are absent.
It’s funny how something that used to set me apart from almost everybody I knew, that being photography, is so common today.
A week or so ago I was watching a current sitcom ( no idea which one) and two people were introducing themselves to each other. One asked, what do you do for a living? He answered, I am a photographer. The person asking the question looked puzzled. She then said, I didn’t know anybody got paid for photography today…….I mean, everybody’s a photographer.
There’s a lot of great photography work out there today, but I am so happy I began my photographic journey in the early 1970s. It had a special meaning back then. I now realize it had it had even greater meaning (for me) from the late 1990s to around 2009. As the digital revolution began to take hold of everybody, many wanted to know what I and others like me knew. That was an incredible time. I also met many of the greatest people of my life during that time span.
No matter the fact that almost every human being on the planet has a camera of one form or another, and everybody can share the resulting images with the world, and the quality in the past thee years is off the charts, there are still those who rise above the pack. In a few cases, some of those who began in my time still manage to set the pace.
The more things change, the more they remain the same.
Earth Images, is indeed a photography blog so I will leave you with a nice shot of a Red Fox in mid-stride. Jessica Kirste made the photo. I can personally testify to just how fast a fox can run in full stride. It is impressive.
Have a great day and may God Bless, Wayne