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Friday, September 25, 2009

Ripple Effect ~

I don't think there's any such thing as teaching people photography, other than influencing them a little. People have to be their own learners. They have to have a certain talent.
~ Imogen Cunningham
4/12/1883 - 6/24/1976
I have probably read this quote more than 100 times, yet I continue to find it questionable.
Imogen Cunningham was undoubtedly a talented photographer, but I find her words to be contradicting. In the early years she studied under other photographers and as we all know, since the early 1900's, technology has changed the world of photography by leaps and bounds.
I have known countless photographers that have talent beyond imagination that have never taken a photography course. I also know countless photographers that have degrees in photography that never produce anything more than a common snapshot. Talent cannot be learned. But having said that, as the world of photography evolves I find that it is a constant study. As a photographer, if I don't continue to learn then I am trapped in my current knowledge, as the world of photography progresses.
Anyone can pick up a manual or book and learn about lighting, composition, or how to use their camera beyond the Auto Mode, but that doesn't make one a photographer. A true photographer is someone that has a passion for photography; degree or no degree. Talent cannot be bought, but passion alone doesn't make one a photographer either. Unlike a painter who can pick up a paint brush and produce a masterpiece, a photographer must have the talent and also stay abreast of changes within the world of photography. I wonder if Imogen Cunningham's earlier works, those that made her famous, would be as prevalent today as they were in the early 1900's?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Birmingham is going Pink ~

Birmingham Alabama is going pink during the month of October. The mayor of Birmingham, Larry Langford, has announced that in support of Breast Cancer Awareness he will turn the city pink.
The Birmingham Council Committee has approved spending $2,500 on pink light bulb covers with another $2,500 more coming from the mayors office budget.
Mayor Langford is also working to arrange 1,000 free mammograms for women who cannot afford them.
As a photographer, I will definitely take the time to go to Birmingham to photograph the pink city, but I am left wondering if $5,000 couldn't be put to better use to help support the cause. I would imagine that there are more than 1,000 women in the city that cannot afford mammograms.
I commend Mayor Langford for bringing so much needed attention to the cause, but I wonder if turning the city pink will help save lives.
Photo provided by AFP

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Cancer Doesn't Discriminate

I woke up at 6:30 this morning and as I made my way into the kitchen to give Chi Chi his meds I grabbed the remote and turned on the television. I had barely made it to the kitchen counter when I heard a local newscaster say that Patrick Swayze had lost his battle with cancer overnight.
In recent years Patrick had purchased a lake house not too far from where I live, and on occasion I had passed him on the road, but never had the opportunity to meet him face to face.
I thought about this talented individual and his brave fight against a disease that shows no mercy. I also thought of my father who lost his life to cancer at the age of 58. Like Patrick, he was too young to die. I have learned all too well that cancer doesn't discriminate. Cancer doesn't care what age you are, it doesn't care if you're a celebrity or how much money you have. Cancer is vicious and will attack anyone at anytime.
I thought of my cousin who lost her life at the age of 35, and I thought of my grandmother, my uncle, and all the other friends and relatives that were hit by an opponent that they didn't see coming.
As the world grieves the loss of yet another high profile celebrity there is one good thing that can come from this; we can all do our part to help find a cure. Although our economy is suffering right now, there are many things that can be done to help with the fight. We can volunteer our time, we can participate in the walks and runs held all across our country, and we can lend a helping hand to those in our communities that are in the fight of their lives.
We must remember that there is always hope! I believe that someday, hopefully within our lifetime, they will find a cure for cancer. My father donated his body to science in hopes that he may play some small part in finding a cure. I'm reminded today that we must all do what we can do to help find a cure. A couple of months ago it was Farrah Faucett, last night it was Patrick Swayze, and I can guarantee you that today several more individuals will lose their life. Cancer should matter to all of us because we never know when it will strike!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Dream Weaver ~

I believe that everyone has a dream; maybe not a Martin Luther King type dream, but hopes and ambitions. Isn't that what sets us apart from other living creatures? We strive to live better lives than previous generations. Isn't it our dreams for our future that keeps us moving forward? If we stop dreaming and only live in the "here and now" are we really living? or are we simply existing?
It seems to me that our dreams, our hopes, and our ambitions is the very thing that keeps this country moving forward. It's the very thing that keeps US moving forward! What if we all just gave up?
Without people who dare to dream we would have no entertainment industry, we would have no military, no government... we would live in a society without businesses, without doctors or lawyers. There would be no policemen or firemen. The world, as we know it, would cease to exist.
Every living person has a dream and no matter how small that dream may be, it's vital to their very existence. When we stop dreaming we stop living.
Photo: Eastcreek Photography

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Natures Brilliance ~

Addiction ~

"As I have practiced it, photography produces pleasure by simplicity. I see something special and show it to the camera. A picture is produced. The moment is held until someone sees it. Then it is theirs."
~ Sam Abell
I have read that quote over and over again and have come to the realization that it could not be more accurate. This is why photographers are always searching for the next photograph. The moments we capture are exhilarating, then we share them with others and there's a sense of loss. We then move on seeking that feeling of exhilaration once again. Photography can be addictive and for us addicts we are always searching for our next fix.