Catherine (L, the day after her wisdom teeth are removed),
Victoria (R) and Tyler (AKA "Lil' Dude") at a family gathering
My snapshots are just as bad as everyone else’s snapshots and I’m proud of that. I have photographed for a long time and have some finely developed photographic skills. But give me a point and shoot camera at a party or some family gathering and you cannot distinguish my work from that of a rank amateur. Red eye, washed out flashes and blurred whatevers are just the beginning of my litany of snapshot photographic faux pas.
But on the other hand, I also feel the joy of the amateur when I can look at my snapshot and enthusiastically proclaim, “It came out!” The simple joy of producing a great snapshot reminds me I started photography to have fun. So much photography these days originates from the point of view that things are bad, evil, wrong or unfair. If those topics aren’t depressing enough, tedium and banality seem to edge their way into the aesthetic. I am puzzled why someone would spend so much effort with such a negative outlook. There is no joy in looking at photographs like that. My photographs are not all “bubbles, puppies and rainbows”, but there is an underlying sense of hope, progress and humanity in the images I make. There is a lot of work that goes into the preparation of a folio of photographs. I pursue those tasks willingly as the means to a personal goal, but sometimes I seem to skip right over the joy department on the way to that goal.
That’s why when that snapshot at a family gathering “comes out” it’s a great moment.
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The second “photo safari” of this year (the first being the expedition to Xiang Sha Wan – look at the December 2010 blog entries) begins this Thursday, September 1. I fly to Seattle and Brooks Jensen will pick me up at the airport. We’re headed for somewhere on the Washington coast. I have no idea what we will find to photograph, how long we will staying in any one place or what we will be doing. The only thing that I have planned is to be ready for my return flight home. I will be blogging every day while we are out on the road. Blogging is so much quicker than sending postcards.