Friday, November 15, 2013

Posts and Chris Orwig

I post things to this blog that I personally find of value to my thinking about photography. Sometimes what I post are things that I want to think on, retain, understand. Sometimes they are things that reinforces my personal thinking on photography, or reinforces how I wish to think about photography, and sometimes they are things that I find inspiring. I have no idea whether or not anyone else finds them the same but I do hope so. Let's just say, they are things that I find important for different reasons.

I just downloaded issue number five of the Craft and Vision's quarterly magazine, Photography. As always the articles are absolutely great. Spent an hour yesterday reading a piece, Creativity, from David duChemin with a couple of friends. Today I am reading Aspire and Learn an article on creativity by Chris Orwig. I haven't finished the article yet but I came across this paragraph that I would like to share.

"Getting better at photography is more like digging down and less like climbing up. We need to stop comparing photographic growth to climbing a corporate ladder. There is no ladder in photography and there is no top rung. Becoming a better photographer requires excavation, like digging a trench. Dig deep into who you are and into what matters most, and you might just discover a fresh spring. "

In both of these articles it is emphasized that the important center of photography is inside us, from the gut, the soul. Everyone quotes Jay Maisel's " become a more interesting photographer, become a more interesting person." Joe McNally has a take off, " become a more interesting photographer, stand in front of more interesting things." Both offer wise advice. But if I may take-on or at least rephrase Joe's statement, "...stand in front of things that you are more interested in."

I know that I might seem obsessed with many of the things that I am currently enjoying photographing such as cemeteries. Maybe I am. I have always been interested in life and death probably more so since Janet's passing. But I see that theme in photographs that I took over fifty years ago so it is not necessarily a new interest. What may be new is that at my advanced age death is closer and possibly I am looking deeper for symbolism in my photography that says what I am feeling and thinking about death, my own as well as the deaths of others. It's a new adventure to look forward to and darn it I probably won't be able to take along my trusty Nikon--but then again, who know for sure. Maybe it will even surpass Google glasses. I know that I am promised to be able to put away my current vision as I was supposed to put away my childish ways of seeing and to see more clearly--isn't that what photographers really want to do?

Addendum: I have to apologize to David du Chemin. I just reread the article he did on creativity and found this:

"So how then do we get better at our ability to both come up with new ideas and execute them?

 ...I think 'become a more interested person,' also applies. Life is not about photography; photography is about life."

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