Another day. A light filled day.
I made this picture looking up through the wisps and into the sunlight. I suppose it is a hopeful kind of picture. That’s really all I have for today.
Heh, heh, heh. You knew this was coming. I’ve said this for years. I’m not a writer. I’m a photographer. I proved that during these past few days when I could not clearly make the point of my last two posts.
Many of you have been awfully kind about my family. Some have suggested that I write more about my family. Maybe, for my descendants. Yes. That would be nice. But, they already know I’m a photographer and pictures are what I will leave behind. Lots and lots of pictures. They’ll either toss my archives in the dumpster, or sort through and find the pictures that mean something to them and then toss the rest of pictures. Me? I’m of a mind that they all belong in a dumpster.
I could not make my main point. I thought that I was using my grandfather’s story as a metaphor.
We are all immigrants. Each and every one of us. Even the man who thought it was a good idea to ban refugees. The only people who live in The United States who are not immigrants, are Native Americans. Original people. American Indians.
Using my grandfather was just symbol.
It didn’t work for the most part. That’s on me. Sorry.
Today, we live in an age when everybody wants to know about other people’s backgrounds. If you are any kind of artist, you are supposed to tweet, post and Instagram about your personal life. You’ll grow your fan base. They say.
Why does that matter? Aside from maybe having some kind of fame, everybody more-or-less has the same kind of life. Maybe more money. Maybe a bigger house. It’s all relative. All it did was give rise to those being famous for being famous. Like the Kardashians, or Paris Hilton before them. Or, dare I say it, the Gabor sisters. It probably made the rest of us crazy.
The thing that should matter is the work, itself. Does it touch you? Are you inspired? Do you like it?
Oh, it also built the $1.99 self published e-book market. The market in which people feel compelled to tell their story to others who feel compelled to tell their story to others who… oh, you know what I mean.
We all forget one of the immutable laws of photography, which also applies to writing. The minute a photographer appears on the scene, the scene changes. The subjects are aware of the camera. They react to it. To the photographer. It is not unadulterated. Real life is suspended. That applies even if the photographer makes pictures after clearing his or her head. Even if the writer truly just observes.
It’s the same thing with all this self publishing, tweeting, Instagramming, posting. The scene is changed. It’s self sanitized. It’s whatever the poster wants you to see. Want to test this? Go to Google. Click on images. Type in the name of your favorite actor, actress, musician, whomever. There is not one real documentary picture to be had. Forget embarrassing moments. We are just talking about real life. If you manage to stumble on a real picture, I can assure you it won’t be there tomorrow. Wanna know a dirty little secret? How do pictures of some celebrity shopping end up being taken? Their publicist alerted their favorite paparazzi.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not even remotely suggesting what you should or shouldn’t do. Post. Tweet. Publish. If it makes you happy, you should do it. It may touch somebody else. Or not. If you are honest about what you write, or photograph, it might really make one of the most important points of all.
You are not alone.