June 18th, 2017 … Father’s Day … Some Observations … Pen-F
Happy Father’s Day. I’m an observer. Not just a photography observer but a life observer. What I notice and find most interesting is the search for identity. It seems to that everyone struggles with identity. Brands are all over everyone and everyplace. Racial identity, gender, religious, education, city, state, country, camera, lens…. the list goes on and on. We form groups of like minded people so our search for identity is not a lonely one.
So as photographers, what are we really searching for and how do we know if we find it? Let me say this: I don’t have an identity issue. I know who I am and the others inside my head know me also. So there!
Lets cut the search to bare bones. We all have cameras, lenses, dark rooms, computers etc. We all fit in our gear and lives neatly and perfectly. We have our vision, our stance and everything we as individuals deem necessary to travel our quest. Nice feeling. Nice to be equipped with stuff and more importantly, emotionally stable.
So what in our inventory is missing or worse, there but quiet? What do we have to hold stock of our life and our struggle to find our selves? What is it that we produce, protect, promote? Perhaps, maybe just maybe our photographs. Is it even possible that an image we produce has the ability to justify all that we are or hope to be? Is it possible that our images are or could be the catylist for conversation, criticism or self exploration and even self discovery? Well, believe this, it’s totally true. Your identity is visible in your images.
Think about this. No 2 photos can ever be the same. Don’t get cute and think about copies. “No eyes ever will nor ever shall see what I see now”. MBW
So then if we are lost in a world that swallows up our identity, it is the simple fact that our photos are our identity. They are the artifacts and DNA of us as individuals. They are the evidence that we are alive and here and working. So, if it’s just this photograph that is a record of our individual existence, maybe we need to take it more serious than we do. Well, I don’t know about youse but for me, it’s over 50 years as a photographer and my awareness of myself, makes me happy. It’s time to stand tall if you can and be proud and happy with the life you live and the work you produce.
We need to understand that whatever our work does, it represents our existence. If it is a truth and it is that Margaret Bourke White, (I pretty sure this is hers….) “No eyes ever will nor ever shall see what I see now”, then that means that your work is unique and you should be proud of it. You also may feel the need at times to defend it but I wouldn’t. I don’t think anyone serious about photography would give bad words and thoughts to another’s work. The ones the do are obviously lost in the world of confused identity and that is the reason they do such horrible things. Those that love photography must and should bear in mind that when they see your work, they see you.
The only bad photos are the ones that don’t get made………
Peace and be blessed all…………………………………………..