This page will just have some random thoughts and observations.
I don't consider myself a very good writer, so that pretty much leaves me out of blogging and other "word intensive" projects. For years I have been trying to express (in words) why I photograph. I found a passage by the late writer/photographer/teacher, Bill Jay that does it so much better than I ever could.
"Look, I would say, this is life. It is everywhere, and it is here for the taking. I am alive and I know this, now, in a more profound way that when I am doing anything else. These sights are ephem- eral, fleeting treasures that have been offered to me and to me alone. No other person in the his- tory of the world, anywhere in all of time and space, has been granted this gift to be here in my place. And I am privileged, through the camera to take this moment away with me. That is why I photograph."
Very simply and eloquently stated. For those not familiar with Bill Jay, he often wrote a column for Lenswork magazine. Not that I am an expert on photographic writings, but I always thought his writngs to be very clear and concise. If you get the chance, try to find some of Bill Jay's writings. Also, for that matter, Lenwork magazine is a first class magazine published 6 times a year by Brooks Jensen and is well worth the time and money.
About three years ago, I started to use an 8x10 camera more and more. As most photographers gravitated towards the digital realm, I found myself going in the opposite direction. Instead of larger and faster sensors I moved toward a larger and slower camera and film. Maybe my age is showing, I just like the slow pace of using this type of camera. I think it also reflects a little bit about my style of photography. I like to think I'm pretty observant of the natural world around me and I tend to photograph a great amount of the "small stuff." That is where the 8x10 shines. The images from the film are rich in detail and color. Now I realize that those two things alone do not make for a good photograph, but when I do "hit" on a good photograph, the image can reveal things that get overlooked with other formats. It is extremely difficult to show what a piece of 8x10 film can do on a website, so if you ever get to see an image from an 8x10, take a good look. It feels like one is standing in front of the actual scene in some ways.
I do a lot of thinking about photography, and particularly my photographic pursuits. I know there is an art versus craft discussion that has been going on ever since the advent of photography and will continue to go on and on and on...... My personal opinion, I guess it really doesn't matter one way or another to me. Whether someone wants to attribute the term "art" to my work is fine, and if they want to use the term "craft," that is fine also. Ever since I picked up my first camera, a Minolta SRT101, photography has been an outlet, a passion, an enjoyment that continues to this day. I can assure you that I would be photographing whether or not I showed my work or sold my work. After all these years I have finally figured out what kind of photography I do, I'd like to call it observational photography. Is it artistic? Maybe to some, after all, like most photographers, I try to compose an image to the best of my ability. But the fact remains, I don't see what I do as particularly artistic. I know there are many photographers out there that will disagree with that, and I understand. I try to compose, adjust, and produce the best image I know how. Sometimes they're good, many times they are okay, and then there are those images that seem to miss. But that is fine with me, if I enjoy my process, my journey, my results, then I feel good about my work. Let's face it, I enjoy photographing mostly the natural world and occasionally something old or rusty. But, I doubt that what I do will make much of a difference in today's world. Maybe some people will enjoy the images, and that is wonderful. I know many good photographers that fall in the camp of "artistic." They can produce wonderful work that has me wondering where they got the idea and how did they carry it out.