I like to consider myself a reformed pessimist. I’ve fought depression and reached the point where I can take a breath to reset myself. It’s a constant battle that everybody faces, to play down the inner voices of fear and shame and strive towards positivity. And there are things I’ve learned on the journey.
I like to describe what I do as an art. A lot of people would disagree with me on that point, saying instead that photography is to art as a copying machine is to eyeballs. I can argue that art is in the intent, and that many visual arts are a representation of perception, and I can have it thrown back at me that photography is too vague, too reproducible, and too derivative to truly be art. It’s a debate I’ve had before, and one I’m sure to have again eventually. And it’s a debate I’ve watched one of my favorite writers, Chuck Wendig, spell out on his blog where he disagreed with Neil deGrasse Tyson.
It’s becoming stylish to be a geek. When I attended the psychological trauma engine we refer to as middle school, the word “geek” accompanied wedgies, spitballs, and derisive laughs. But now, in the age where comic book movies are the big blockbusters, geek culture has become its own status symbol ― even though the internal strata of role-players, comic book fans, trekkies, and similar remain largely unchanged.
Last year, I tried to help my daughter conquer the rite of passage which is riding a bicycle. While she was being scared and uncomfortable, I was becoming more and more frustrated. I was completely powerless, at the mercy of her fears, unable to inspire her to complete a task I knew she was capable of doing. Fear builds a consequence of failure which is greater than the consequences we actually face, making us think we’re stumbling off-balance along the volcano’s edge. It’s frustrating for everybody willing to help us because they can’t pluck the fearful thoughts from our minds. Unchecked, it can keep us from truly being ourselves.
It’s a simple question, but it carries important ramifications. On a basic, reasonable level it is easy to answer “no.” We don’t need a photograph to live. But that answer barely scratches the surface of human experience.
Hi there. I’ve been absent from the blog for far too long, going about my everyday life, and thinking that I deserved a little break after doing a bunch of work in September. I decided I could afford to put the camera away for a bit, chill out, relax. But things didn’t quite work out that way.