I’m enrolled in an art history class this semester and its focused photography. I feel that seeing what others has done can not only inspire you for more creative images but give you an appreciation for the level of difficulty photographers went through for their art back in the day. I have paid my dues and spent my time in a photo lab, I started shooting in B&W back in the day and lived in the darkroom. I did have it easy comparativelythough. I didn’t have to load my own film I went about bought it. I didn’t have to develop on the kitchen table like my grandfather did I did it at school in the photo lab. But thats a stark contrast to the digital images of today. When you shot film you took that image, thought twice or three times before you pressed the shutter. Today (back in my day walking uphill five miles in the snow..even in summer to school? heh) there is that instant feedback, instat gratification for the shooter in many ways its a huge revolution but in other ways its a cure. This is why I have been and will continue to do the one shot on my walk theme I have going. It really helps me to think about the image I want to take.
The images I take is what I want to talk about though. I was reading an aritcle about a photographer named Minor White http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minor_White (heres an interesting Wikipediaarticle on him) He was shooting around the same time as Ansel Adams, but his work was widely ignored in the photographic community because he was gay. This got me to thinking… should the work of an artist rest solely on the capabilities, abilities or sexual orientation of the artist? Should not the images or paintings sculptures or whatever form of art they participate in be judged on the merit of the art not the stigma associated with the artist? If a painting is good or a photograph is good should it not be able to stand on its own rather than being a great photo or painting “for a disabled person or for a gay person”? I strive to make the best images I can so they can be appreciated as good images, not a pretty good image for an old blind guy. Can a blind photographer shoot? you bet they can…can they shoot as good as you can? sure they can… It may take more work for them to get the images they want and they may be even more critical and unwilling to show images to the pulic than you are, but they certainly can shoot. Just like a blind person can paint…its tough, that person has to think about where on the canvas they have been, maybe feel where they have painted and remember in their minds eye where they were and what they have yet to paint, but they certainly can paint. I guess the point I am trying to get across here is don’t judge a book by its cover. I have had my images displayed next to fully sighted artists images and the viewers were shocked when they found out a blind guy took the shot they liked. Don’t give up, and don’t EVER let anyone tell you that you can’t do something. I have lived my whole live doing things I wasn’t supposed to be able to do and I’m sure nto stopping now.
Sorry for the Rantyness of this post I just needed to get that off my chest. I’m not a huge advocate for the gay lifestyle or anything, but I just don’t see why a persons art should be ignored or pushed lower into the pile because they arent like everyone else.
Next post I will have a new image, its finally stopped raining here in Santa Cruz (for the day anyway) so Im off for a walk and to take one picture.