So, two weeks ago I was attending an opening at a gallery where some of my photograghs were on display.
For a graduation gift, over 30 years ago, my parents gave me $300. with which I purchased an Olympus OM-1. I’d always wanted a good camera, and having acquired one, began understanding how difficult and exasperating image making can be.
Poring over National Geographics, like they were the Rosetta Stone of picture taking (they are), I asked myself, “What did this person do to make this image?” Then, I began to attempt imitation.
My first awards and national publication happened between 1986-88, and to a great degree it felt like vindication. The money meant nothing. Being self-taught, it was nice to have external confirmation of a few captures I was lucky enough to pick up along the way.
So… at the gallery, this guy says, “Man, I love your stuff! I’m going to Italy next year, and I’m going to get a good camera, take some pictures and sell them to pay for the trip!”
My heavens! What a genius! Why haven’t we all thought of this before? Oh my…
Widespread affluence and accessibility of technology have given rise to the belief that the tools make the craftsman. They don’t.
My photos don’t hold a candle to what others commonly capture, and it has nothing to do with what they or I have held in my hands. It’s all about the expertise in the mind and body.
How much does it cost in dollars? Very little. But the investment of time, practice and perseverence are enormous.