First of all, let me tell you that I don’t really care (too much) what you do with
your camera. If you want to execute some formula, over and over again, knowing
in advance you’ll arrive at a foregone conclusion you deem successful, fine. If you
want to shoot the surface of the obvious world in a cliché way and be happy the
image is sharp and has nice colors, be my guest.
My one apprehension (see inside the brackets above) about this approach to
fotografy is that it just cements the status quo, and in my opinion, every time
that that (the status quo) is reinforced is a time that precludes evolution. And
if we don’t evolve we die (or turn into Koala bears, which are cute but pretty
much useless; good only at eating Eucalyptus leaves).
I look (outside the fotografy-realm) at what is going on in Ukraine, at what
Pussy Riot is doing and see that there are those who will lay it on the line,
will take a stand and agitate for something other than what we now have.
These (direct) actions, of course, really show how anemic fotografy, and
other “civilized” activities, are when it comes to trying to change the world.
And, looking at history, we will see that most often popular uprisings are
really only a hiccup in the grand scheme of things. Look, for example, at
the 1960’s, when revolution was in the air all over the world, USA, France,
China, and the ripples of those revolutions spread far and wide. But given
time, it all almost always settles back to the way it was. Sure, some things
change for the better, some for the worse, but somehow or other the power
always ends up in the hands of those who want it the most. And those who
want it the most are those who should least have it.
And, yes, history also teaches us that some revolutions do end up benefiting
many, that things can get better. And we see, too, how over time the slow
pull of what is obviously right somehow takes hold and gets a grip. See,
for instance, gay and women’s rights in many (but not too many) places.
But I really believe that if one takes a step towards risk in any aspect of their
life, the whole species will be better off. And that can include taking risks
when you think about what you want your relationship to your camera, or
iPhone, to be.
I’m not suggesting that you live your life and take every single photograph,
in revolutionary fervor. What I am suggesting is you think about it. More or
STRAYLIGHT ON LENSCRATCH
Thank you to Aline Smithson, at Lenscratch, for featuring SAME OLD STORY.
A swell intro by Aline, some words about it by yours truly and a bunch of pix.
Read/see it here: XXXX