"The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera." - Dorothea Lange

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

a bird and a bean

Today I gave a tour of my show to a group of Nelson-Atkins Museum docents. They were very engaged and interested, and they asked great questions. The give and take of our dialogue made me think about some things in new ways. What a valuable experience it was for me.

We talked about the fact that everyone is a photographer now - and how different that is from when I first got started in the medium. They wondered if I am aware of making a conscious decision to try to make photographs that might possibly rise above the thousands of other pictures that are made of similar subjects on a daily basis.

I do think about this. I thought about it as recently as this past weekend when I was in Chicago. I was taking pictures of something that was being simultanesouly photographed by hundreds of other tourists. My guess is there were tens of thousands of pictures taken at this very site over the long holiday weekend.

So I stood there trying to make one that might be more interesting than most of the others - those that no doubt spilled out onto Flickr, Tumblr, Instagram and Facebook today.

I suggested to the docents that perhaps the fact that everyone has a camera now has made us commercial and fine art shooters work a lot harder than we used to.

And, actually, I think that's a good thing.


Jessica said...

I wonder if the bird was able to actual stay on the bean, or if he kept slipping, causing him to keep his wings extended in semi-flight as in this photo (which I suspect is the case as the bean seems to be a pretty slick surface). Then, how long did it try to sustain itself there? If not for long, you got a fleeting, unique shot for sure!

Anonymous said...

We had a wonderful time and were in awe of your eye.
Great shot of the bean. - DF

Anonymous said...

It was a special treat for me! You know, I love your work... Been a big fan since I first saw Pembroke's photos of the preschoolers on the playground. I said then, I have to find her! You make your work easy to support, dear friend.
Thank you for including me yesterday, and I LOVE your capture of the 'bean'. Perfect. And very much not the norm.. of course!!!

Anonymous said...

I went by the gallery to see your show. I thought it was powerful! I was so moved by some of the photos. You capture so many different emotions and expressions. I actually choked up looking at some of them. And I thought your writings about the different groupings were as thought-provoking as your photos. Your talent is amazing! - Pam